Technology

Biden revokes Trump-era order targeting shield for website operators

President Biden
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President Biden has revoked an order put in place by his predecessor that targeted a controversial law that shields tech companies from liability for content posted on their platforms by third parties. 

Biden on Friday revoked the order former President Trump signed last year directing federal agencies to review Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects them from being held legally responsible for third party content. 

During his presidential campaign, Biden said he supported revoking Section 230 but he has largely not detailed plans moving forward regarding tech regulation. It remains unclear if Biden will take action on reforming or repealing Section 230. A spokesperson for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Biden’s Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said during her confirmation hearings that she supports “some reform” on Section 230 and would use resources at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to convene stakeholders and discuss with members of Congress potential reforms. 

Trump issued his order after Twitter put a label on two of his tweets about mail-in voting.

Since then, the former president has been permanently banned from Twitter, and Facebook and other platforms have taken similar action to ban or suspend his accounts. 

Trump’s executive order was also widely criticized at the time by Democrats, who questioned the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) ability to clarify the meaning of laws in the way Trump’s order called for.

Former FCC Chair Ajit Pai said he would not be moving forward with rulemaking on the order in January, shortly before he stepped down at the beginning of Biden’s term. 

Although Trump and his allies have issued calls to repealSection 230, the law has come under fire from both sides of the aisle — albeit for different reasons. 

Republicans have rallied behind calls to reform or revoke the law over unsubstantiated claims of censorship with an anti-conservative bias. Democrats, however, have largely slammed the companies over not taking enough of a stand against hate speech and misinformation on their platforms.

Tags Ajit Pai Donald Trump Gina Raimondo Joe Biden national telecommunications Section 230 Twitter
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