Tulsi Gabbard Backs Trump’s Demand to Repeal Liability Shield For Social Media

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Trump has long threatened to take action against big tech, accusing the business sector of bias against conservatives and censorship of right-wing voices. Gabbard’s support for the outgoing president in this particular issue saw mixed reactions on social media.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has backed Donald Trump’s idea to repeal Section 230, part of a 1996 law passed by Congress which protects social media companies from lawsuits pertaining to the content posted by users. Taking to Twitter, the Representative for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district said she fully supports the president.

​On 2 December, Trump said that he would veto the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual defence budget bill, unless Congress repeals the liability shield for Big Tech. The president said the United States could never be safe and secure if Section 230 remains in effect.

​What is Section 230 and Why Does Trump Want it Gone?

The legislation is part of the 1996 Communications Decency Act by the Congress, granting immunity to content providers over the content posted by users.

"No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider", reads the key section.

If a TV channel or a newspaper makes a false report on an individual that person can sue them, but they can’t sue them if false information about them appears on Facebook or Twitter, because the social media platforms are not treated as publishers.

The president has repeatedly accused big tech of silencing conservative voices. In October, Trump and his supporters blamed social media for limiting the spread of a New York Post story on Joe Biden. The newspaper wrote that the Democrat was involved in his son’s overseas deals, which if it were true, would have constituted a conflict of interest.

Trump's advisers argued that by moderating content on their websites, social media companies act like publishers and hence cannot enjoy the protection of Section 230.

Tusli Gabbard’s support for Trump’s idea to repeal the legislation prompted a mixed reaction on social media. While some users praised the official for breaking the party’s ranks and supporting the Republican…

​…Others contended that the move would destroy freedom of speech, and accused her of being a Republican proxy.

 

 

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