Republican lawmakers and pundits have long attributed an anti-conservative bias to major social media firms and other tech-industry companies — including pre-election speculation that negative stories about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden were being suppressed on some platforms.
The development led to renewed calls for the repeal of a law shielding social media companies from litigation based on content posted by their users — and now, President Donald Trump has just announced his latest effort to put an end to the measure.
According to Fox News, the president tweeted on Tuesday that he would refuse to sign a forthcoming defense bill unless it includes a repeal of Section 230.
Trump’s bombshell ultimatum came in the wake of several recent allegations of censorship against conservatives on platforms including Twitter and Facebook.
The president has frequently teased a desire to repeal Section 230 and its protections that major tech companies have enjoyed since its inception. This week’s tweet was the closest yet to a suggestion that he is willing to take concrete steps to that end.
He opined that the federal code’s legal protection for social media companies now amounts to a national security threat, asserting that the law cannot stand if America hopes to remain united.
“Therefore, if the very dangerous [and] unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk. Take back America NOW,” Trump tweeted, as Fox reported. “Thank you!”
“That’s not a part of the bill”
The threat was well-received by the president’s supporters, many of whom shared their own belief that a repeal of Section 230 is long overdue.
Some on the right, however, are questioning whether it is a wise move for the president to include the issue as part of a vital military defense spending bill.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) expressed such a position during recent remarks to reporters.
“I agree with his sentiments, we ought to do away with 230, but you can’t do it in this bill,” he said, according to CBS News. “That’s not a part of the bill.”
Nevertheless, Trump declared in his most recent tweets that the law as it is written constitutes “a serious threat to our National Security [and] Election Integrity.” And there’s no doubt it must be stopped.