In news that shouldn’t surprise anybody at this point, Donald Trump, current president of the United States, is on Twitter again, spewing anger and nonsense. This time directed at Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act.
Essentially, Section 230 outlines how websites and social media companies can moderate content without having to navigate legal liability on everything published on the platform. Both Democrats and Republicans have had issues with Section 230 (especially in the last handful of years), but generally speaking, most consider the protections a good thing. That said, even Joe Biden has stated that Section 230 should be revoked.
Section 230 is why the internet is what it is today. If the law were repealed, many major online platforms would have to shut down or move all operations overseas. While social media companies should be held accountable for many things, it’s quite frankly impossible to completely moderate all content. Should Section 230 be revisited now that the internet has placed itself in our everyday lives? Probably so, yes, but as it usually is with Trump, it’s not about that – it’s about getting rid of things that he doesn’t like.
…..Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk. Take back America NOW. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2020
Trump has had issues with Section 230 before, but this time he’s going after the military. In two tweets late last night, Trump declared, “[I]f the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk.”
The National Defense Authorization Act is the annual defense-spending bill for the U.S. Department of Defense. Previously, Trump threatened to veto the bill after lawmakers looked into changing the names of military bases associated with Confederate generals.
In a statement, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), one of the people responsible for Section 230, said, “I’d like to start for the Blazers, but it’s not going to happen either. It is pathetic that Trump refuses to help unemployed workers, while he spends his time tweeting unhinged election conspiracies and demanding Congress repeal the foundation of free speech online.”
The attack on Section 230 started when Donald Trump had a handful of tweets flagged by Twitter. This isn’t surprising, as Trump likes to attack things he doesn’t like. Scathing story from a news outlet? Fake news, cancel the network. Being absolutely owned by teenagers on TikTok? National security risk. Flagging tweets spreading misinformation? Repeal arguably the most important internet law there is.