Back in May, the President signed an executive order — after Twitter fact-checked him — proposing to limit the protections social media platforms enjoy under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. Now, the administration has taken another step to make that happen. The Secretary of Commerce through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has filed a petition asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conjure up rules clarifying Section 230.
That particular CDA provision states that "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.” That means ISPs and online platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can’t be held legally responsible for what their users say or post. The petition argues that the internet has changed considerably since the provision was approved and that the FCC should now determine how Section 230 can both promote a free flow of ideas while holding platforms accountable at the same time. It reads: