- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 2, 2020

President Donald Trump in a late-night tweet made clear Section 230 shields for “Big Tech” has to go, or the National Defense Authorization Act with all its funding for the military won’t pass.

It’s about time all the talk, talk, talk about Section 230 and the need to repeal is finally making it to the walk.

Congress, particularly Republicans in Congress, have held far too many hearings with social media giants and listened as they denied censorship, explained away their censorship and outright dismissed their censorship as non-censorship. And honestly, in one respect — these social media giants are right.

It’s not the American way to sic the government on private business.

In other words, in a free market, private business actually has the right to “censor.” Social media company chiefs have the right to publish any and all leftist-leaning opinions they want, while simultaneously denying posting of any and all conservative-leaning opinions they want. That’s not a First Amendment violation; the First Amendment restricts government, not private businesses.



But.

But, Section 230 has been the gift that keeps on giving for the leftists of the nation because it shields them from lawsuits from those whose posts are blocked or removed, even as they act more as publishers, not open forums.

And boy, have the leftists at the social media helm taken advantage in recent times. In recent campaign season times, in particular. A story from the New York Post that allegedly had proven Joe Biden was linked to his son Hunter Biden’s scandalous business ventures in Ukraine was rapidly pushed from Twitter — a move that prompted Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to demand Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to explain.

“This is election interference, and we’re 19 days out from an election,” Cruz said at the time. “The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know what the hell is going on.” And during testimony, Cruz thundered at Dorsey: “Who the hell elected you?”

The chickens may be coming home to roost.

Trump is demanding the stripping of Section 230 protections — now.

“Section 230,” he tweeted, “which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to ‘Big Tech’ (the only companies in America that have it — corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our national security & election integrity. Our country can never be safe & secure if we allow it to stand. ….”

He went on, in a second tweet: “…..Therefore, if the very dangerous & 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. Thank you!”

Fireworks are coming.

Fireworks, and finally, maybe, some action against Big Tech. Now the ball is in Congress’ court. 

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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