Opinion | The Justice Department hypes phantom censorship with an attack on Internet platforms’ core protection
September 26, 2020 | internet | No Comments
President Trump’s executive order in May demanding that platforms be punished for alleged censorship of conservatives was an assault on free speech. Attorney General William P. Barr’s follow-up contribution seeking to overhaul the provision of the Communications Decency Act known as Section 230 is more of the same. A carve-out stripping protections from “Bad Samaritan” companies that purposefully host illegal material is a useful change. From there, however, the draft takes a pickaxe to the law, chipping away at immunity with overbroad exemptions that will push websites to over-censor, or else encourage them to abandon efforts to police their platforms altogether.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden also advocates an ill-advised revocation of Section 230. Yet the Justice Department’s suggested bill is much more insidious. Its misguided attempts to make the Internet safer are window-dressing on the administration’s true object: to bully sites out of enforcing their terms of service against