Trump Claims He’ll Veto Defense Spending Bill Unless Congress Repeals Legal Shield for Social Media Companies
President Trump is upset that Twitter and Facebook have reviewed their conspiracy theories pointing to widespread fraud in the 2020 election and are trying to get Congress to roll back legal protections for social media companies by threatens to veto a $ 740 billion defense spending bill.
Trump, who was in office less than two months before being replaced by President-elect Joe Biden, stepped up his campaign to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The law grants Internet companies full legal protection for content shared on their services, and allows companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to moderate content on their services at their own discretion.
In Tuesday night's social media posts, Trump claimed Section 230 posed a threat to "national security and electoral integrity" and said he would veto the National Defense Authorization Act unless Section 230 is repealed.
Section 230, a US liability protection gift to Big Tech (the only companies in America that have it - corporate welfare!), Is a serious threat to our national security and electoral integrity. Our country can never be safe if we do leave it standing, "wrote Trump. If the very dangerous and unfair section 230 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is not fully terminated, I will be forced to clearly review the bill when it comes to the very beautiful Resolute -Switch is being sent. Take America Back NOW. Thank you! "
The NDAA bill, which approved spending of up to $ 740 billion on national security programs in 2021, was passed with veto-proof super majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives. It's unclear whether Trump's threat will change Congressional support for the NDAA.
Since election day, Twitter has posted warning notices on more than 200 President's tweets and retweets indicating that they were “controversial” or misleading. Facebook has also tagged many fact-checking Trump posts that falsely alleged electoral fraud or other conspiracy theories about electoral errors. The messages from Facebook indicated, among other things, that Biden is the planned winner of the 2020 elections.
Separately on Tuesday, US Attorney General William Barr told the Associated Press that the Department of Justice had so far found no evidence of widespread electoral fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 election - contrary to the unsubstantiated claims that Trump continues to advance.
Democrats support reforms in Section 230, but these are concerned about the spread of misinformation and hate speech. In contrast, Republicans have focused on allegations that technology platforms are systematically censoring conservative viewpoints. Biden himself has called for Section 230 protection for social media platforms to be lifted, and in an interview with the New York Times in January complained that Facebook "is spreading lies that they know are false."
Trump issued an executive order in May that sought to remove Section 230 protection for social networks when they "engage in censorship or political behavior." Critics have argued that the move violates the initial adjustment rights of private companies. Trump-appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who will step down from the commission on January 20, stated in October that the telecommunications agency has legal powers to regulate social media companies when initiating a regulation to "clarify" How section 230 applies to social media companies.
In October, Twitter gave GOP critics fresh ammunition to train fire on Section 230 after the social network, citing its "hacked materials" policy, prevented users from sharing the New York Post's unconfirmed articles about Hunter Biden alleging that his father was involved in lucrative deals in China and Ukraine. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted that blocking the URL to the pieces of post out of context was wrong, and the company eventually changed its policy to allow the links to be shared on Twitter.
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