President Donald Trump criticized Senate Republicans who he says are “getting cold feet with respect to” eliminating Section 230 of the Communications Act, which protects internet providers and tech companies from liability for content posted on their platforms. The president called eliminating the law “a National Security and Election Integrity MUST.”
“For years, all talk, no action. Termination must be put in Defense Bill!!!” he added.
Looks like certain Republican Senators are getting cold feet with respect to the termination of Big Tech’s Section 230, a National Security and Election Integrity MUST. For years, all talk, no action. Termination must be put in Defense Bill!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2020
Trump has railed against Section 230 in recent days and lawmakers have signaled they will not make repealing the law part of a defense authorization bill despite the president’s threat to use his veto power. Critics have noted that repealing it would allow the president to go after his political opponents and anyone who has spoken out against him.
Several members of Congress have spoken out, indicating that there is strong bipartisan pushback.
Oh look, there goes @realDonaldTrump again trying to suppress free speech, this time on the internet. Section 230 has allowed free speech and expression to flourish on the internet. And Trump’s veto threat is a paper tiger. Congress will just wait for Biden to sign the NDAA. https://t.co/oxeMEu20I1
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 2, 2020
To be clear, Mr. President, Section 230 repeal wasn’t included in the House OR Senate version of the NDAA.
You’re mad at Twitter. We all know it.
You're willing to veto the defense bill over something that has everything to do with your ego, and nothing to do with defense. https://t.co/qsELyzU9O0
— Rep. Adam Smith (@RepAdamSmith) December 2, 2020
I have written a bipartisan bill to reform section 230 but the idea that it should be repealed, with no hearing, in the defense bill, is goofy. You will know who is serious about policy making in this space by whether or not they reflexively agree w Trump here.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) December 2, 2020
Others, like New York Times reporter Jane Coaston, have pointed out the consequences of repealing the legislation.
Getting rid of Section 230 ends user content (as in, you talking on the internet) as we know it and means basically every entity that contains third-party content would rather host no content than any content that it could be found liable for.
— Jane Coaston (@cjane87) December 2, 2020