A group representing major online companies including Facebook, Amazon.com and Google urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to refuse a Trump administration bid to narrow the scope of social networking companies to remove content they deem objectionable.
The Internet Association stated in a filing that the Trump government petition filed in August looking for new rules”is misguided, lacks grounding in law, and poses serious public policy concerns.
It said new FCC rules could lead to a loss of legal protections for eliminating “fraudulent schemes, scams, dangerous content promoting suicide or eating disorders to teens, and a wide range of other types of otherwise ‘objectionable’ content.”
“It is shocking that our own government would seek to undermine a law that has led to unprecedented American innovation, with massive benefits for our consumers and economy,” said Michael Petricone, a CTA official.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai ignored calls from the two Democrats on the bureau’s five-member commission to deny the request without public opinion. He has declined comment on the request merits.
President Trump directed the Commerce Department to file the request after Twitter in May controversially warned users to fact-check his posts about unsubstantiated claims of fraud at mail-in voting.
The request asks the FCC to restrict protections for social media companies under Section 230, a provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that shields social media firms from liability for content submitted by their users and enables them to eliminate lawful but objectionable articles.
AT&T Inc did not take a position on what actions the FCC should take but stated in comments “we support the growing consensus that online platforms should be more accountable for, and more transparent about, the decisions that fundamentally shape American society today.”
President Trump, a populist Republican running for re-election, has expressed anger in social networking businesses, who he claims are openly biased against conservatives.
In August, the White House abruptly pulled the nomination of FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly for a new term only days after he questioned the attempt to regulate social networking companies’ editorial conclusions.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by David Shepardson and Nandita Bose. Editing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bell.
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