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FCC Announces Investigation Of Abuse With Facebook And Twitter, Can Strip Protection Granted By Congress

FCC Announces Investigation Of Abuse With Facebook And Twitter, Can Strip Protection Granted By Congress

The Democrats are livid, Trump and the FCC has done a runaround; rather than go to Congress to strip protection from Facebook and Twitter for election interference, they have set up an investigation to strip away protection under Section 230, which gave them protection from lawsuits with a special exemption from Congress.

There is only one problem, the bill set up it was up to the FCC, not Congress, to enforce this, something that many members on the left are now ruing.

Under this bill, Facebook, Twitter, and Google were given an exemption, or protection from lawsuits for content ran on their feeds. The argument at the time was that they were not a news site, rather a social sharing site where news was shared. Congress to protect them from shares that were not real, were politically motivated, put in place stipulations that protected them from lawsuits, but this was done with one promise, that they would allow unfettered access to sharing on all sides of the political spectrum.

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47 U.S. Code § 230 – Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material, was set up to give the big tech companies the legal authority to block what would be offensive or illegal material, posting from known racist sites, like White Supremacist, Black Supremacist, anti-Islamic attacks, or Islamic Attacks on people that were of this faith were able to be censored. Still, it was with the promise that political thought would be left alone.

47 U.S. Code § 230 – Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material

(3) The Internet and other interactive computer services offer a forum for a true diversity of political discourse, unique opportunities for cultural development, and myriad avenues for intellectual activity.

This was set up for the stated reason:

(4) to remove disincentives for the development and utilization of blocking and filtering technologies that empower parents to restrict their children’s access to objectionable or inappropriate online material; and (5) to ensure vigorous enforcement of Federal criminal laws to deter and punish trafficking in obscenity, stalking, and harassment by means of a computer.

The problem came from the Left’s definition of hate speech under Obama. With this, if you dared to attack same-sex marriage laws, you were seen as exercising hate speech rather than free speech; this was then banned under 47 U.S. Code § 230.

Children, such as Greta Thunberg, a climate activist, rose to fame due to her protests and calling for climate protection. Twitter soon put a position that if you dared attack this young girl’s stance, you would be banned from Twitter. I had my personal account banned for this very reason; I dared question where she was getting her data from, then asked why we are giving a child with little education in climatology a chair.

The Obama years saw questions about his place of birth; questions over his faith be censored. Now, I can say that none of this was of vital importance to me. The problem I had with Obama was his total failure in putting ideology over facts, playing the race card until we ended up with the split we have now, people screaming that they are victims because they are not given privilege when dealt with. Soon articles calling this to question were shut down due to them deemed as being racist.

Yet it has not stopped here, Facebook. To a much greater degree, Twitter has flaunted their protection to protect Joe Biden from political attacks. They put no censorship in place when Trump’s taxes were stolen and posted all over Twitter, said nothing when articles ran on hearsay. Yet, they say that until this Hunter Biden story is properly vetted, they will censor all material related to it.

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I know some are going to say, “They are a private company, isn’t this their right?” In most cases, you would be 100% correct, but by putting in place 47 U.S. Code § 230 Congress and the companies agreed to protection in the public realm, this strips them from this right; either they continue to have the protection, or act as a partisan tool and open themselves up to lawsuits.

The Democrats’ problem is that Congress, while it is created to make laws, it is not now, nor has ever been in place to enforce them. When they set up this bill, they stipulated that the FCC would administer it. If violations occurred, they would do the investigation and possibly strip the protection, not Congress.

With this investigation being pushed forward today, Congress-members are already yelling that this is an abuse of power. I beg to disagree. The abuse of power already has happened; it is time for Twitter and Facebook to either play by the rules or find the protection that enabled them to grow to the monopolies they are to be stripped from them.

This caused us to open Ocensor Community; we had many yelling that if they did not post as Twitter or Facebook demanded, they found their posts were censored or access cut off. We set up Community to allow political posting, from all sides of the political spectrum, without fear of censorship just because you did not go along with the company’s ideology. We felt that discourse, not discarding, was needed; to be able to hash out differences, show reasons for positions was the way to handle this.

FCC’s Chairman, Ajit Pai, said the agency would seek to “clarify” the platforms’ exemptions from liability for how they handle users’ posts. That would fulfill an executive order issued in May by Trump to rein in Big Tech after Twitter started to fact-check the president’s posts.

“Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech,” Pai said in a statement announcing his move. “But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters.”

The announcement came hours after Senate Republicans demanded the chief executive officers of Facebook and Twitter explain steps their sites took to limit the distribution of a controversial New York Post article concerning Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Twitter and Facebook said they did it because of to questions about the article’s accuracy and use of hacked material.

“Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech,” Pai said in a statement announcing his move. “But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters.”

The cause against Section 230 got a lift on Tuesday when Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a statement about a case the court declined to hear that the high court should consider whether the “increasingly important statute” supports the “sweeping immunity” that many courts have granted to online platforms.

Thomas said extending Section 230 “immunity beyond the natural reading of the text can have serious consequences.”

The Supreme Court has never ruled on Section 230, but if it follows Thomas’s urging, it could narrow more than 20 years of jurisprudence, which he criticized.

We know the Democrats are going to try to stop this investigation, the problem you have is they will have to get the president, the very one that is being targeted from Twitter and Facebook to sign off on any bill they present, that has no chance of happening. The override position will never happen, the Democrats don’t have large enough of a majority to pull this off. Further, if they continue down this path they could lose out their majority in the House because of backlash by what voters will see as election tampering.

While Republicans have tried to get bills passed that would stop the political attacks from big tech against conservatives, this has always been killed in Congress; the Democrats are all too happy so long as this benefits them.

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About The Author

Timothy Benton

Student of history, a journalist for the last 2 years. Specialize in Middle East History, more specifically modern history with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Also, a political commentator has been a lifetime fan of politics.

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