As he continues to make accusations of bias against Twitter, President Donald Trump tweeted a message on Friday calling for section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to be revoked. However, Trump isn’t the first politician to go after the provision, which protects companies from being held responsible for the content users post on their platforms. Former Vice President Joe Biden has called for the section to be revoked, as well.
This week, Trump has intensified his attacks against the social media platform after it decided to put a fact-check warning on two of his messages for the first time. Shortly after, Trump announced a new executive order that was aimed at weakening the legal protections that tech giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter enjoy.
The next day, the president posted a message on Twitter targeting protestors in Minnesota, calling them “thugs” and warning that when the “looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Twitter determined that the message violated its rules against glorifying violence and put a warning on the tweet, limiting its reach and forcing users to click on a link in order to see it. After the White House Twitter account re-posted his message, that too was slapped with a warning.
In response, Trump tweeted “REVOKE 230!”
While Democrats have largely supported Twitter and have declined to call the enforcement of its policies censorship, Biden and a few other politicians have expressed a desire to see section 230 revoked.
While speaking with the New York Times editorial board in December, he expressed frustration with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, saying that he isn’t held to the same standards that other news outlets are.
“[The Times] can’t write something you know to be false and be exempt from being sued. But [Zuckerberg] can. The idea that it’s a tech company is that Section 230 should be revoked, immediately should be revoked, number one. For Zuckerberg and other platforms,” he said.
“He knows better. And you know, from my perspective, I’ve been in the view that not only should we be worrying about the concentration of power, we should be worried about the lack of privacy and them being exempt, which you’re not exempt,” said Biden.
It isn’t clear how Biden would go about revoking the section, but his sentiment largely seems to line up with Trump’s own opinion.
While it isn’t clear whether Trump’s executive order is legally enforceable, it makes evident the president’s intent to take action against what he and many Republicans say are unfair practices by the social media platforms. Trump has even threatened to shut down the platform “if it were legal.”