President Trump will need as many allies as he can get on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) if he expects to successfully implement his Executive Order fighting Big Tech censorship.
Unfortunately, his administration recently re-nominated a GOP Swamp creature, Michael O’Rielly, who has expressed deep ambivalence, at best, with respect to the specific strategy the President has decided to use to combat censorship.
A regulator whose vote could be needed to advance President Donald Trump’s order to reduce legal protections for Twitter Inc. and other social media companies has expressed doubt about the change.
Michael O’Rielly, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission that’s slated to write the social-media rules, said he wasn’t sure the agency has power to grant Trump’s request. Republicans hold a 3-2 edge at the FCC.
“Did Congress provide us authority to act?” O’Reilly said in an interview for the C-Span television show “The Communicators.” O’Rielly said he hadn’t taken a position on the merits of the issue [Detroit News]
If the President is serious about fighting Big Tech censorship he needs to make sure he has allies on the FCC who are fully on board with his agenda, and not mealy mouthed and ambivalent when it comes to the existential issue of right wing, conservative, and anti-establishment voices being censored en masse by the most powerful companies in the world.
The Big Technology companies censoring American citizens have enough money and political power without the Trump Administration appointing their friends to the FCC.
Months ago President Trump heroically signed an executive order to fight Big Tech censorship, which has ripped the digital tongues from the mouths of hundreds of thousands of pro-Trump and conservative accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, and other platforms.
Trump’s preferred vehicle for this counter-attack is the once obscure section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. In essence, this act stipulates that internet platforms like Twitter and YouTube are only entitled to protection from certain legal liabilities if they behave as platforms, rather than publishers— in other words, if they do not curate and censor content as a publisher would, but merely provide a platform for such content.
If for example platforms like You-Tube actively and affirmatively censor content for political purposes, they are behaving as publishers and therefore ought to no longer enjoy the special liability protections that 230 affords exclusively to platforms—or so the argument goes.