Trump Plans to Veto Defense Bill Section 230 Protecting Social Media Platforms From Taking Responsibility for Their Content

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United States President Donald Trump posted a tweet on Tuesday revealing he plans to veto the National Defense Authorization Act unless Congress agrees to repeal the 1996 Communications Decency Act’s Section 230.

Some critics consider the section of the act as unfairly shielding social media platforms from any liability over what their users post. They argued that social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook should not be given special consideration if their websites act like publishers.

Several Republican Senators, including Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, and Josh Hawley, requested Twitter and Facebook heads to testify in court. Cruz said, “This is election interference, and we’re 19 days out from an election.” He added that the situation was a first in democratic history.

Trump, who has continued to refuse to concede the presidency to Joe Biden, has ordered legal teams to investigate what he claims is mass voter fraud. The Republican has also shared a worrisome relationship with social media platforms despite having 88 million followers on his Twitter account.

Trump called Section 230 of the act a massive threat to the country’s national security and integrity, adding it should be completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Facebook and Twitter executives did not respond when asked for comments.

In October, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to Congress that aimed to make revisions to the 25-year-old law that protected social media companies from being sued for what users post on their platforms.

The DOJ’s letter was addressed to several members of Congress and argued that social media platforms had a massive foothold in society and how information is spread. It urged them to become completely transparent with how they use their authority, Fox News reported.

The CEOs of Facebook and Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, spoke in front of the Senate Commerce Committee about the law in October. Dorsey said, “Section 230 is the most important law protecting internet speech,” He added removing the law would essentially remove speech from the internet.

On the other hand, Zuckerberg recommended that Congress revised the laws so that it would work as they intended. He said, “One important place to start would be making content moderation systems more transparent.” Zuckerberg also suggested other options, such as not allowing social media companies to avoid responsibility for intentionally facilitating illegal activity on their sites.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.