The U.S. Dept. of Justice has released a draft of its proposal to change federal law, making it harder – and possibly illegal – for tech companies and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to remove, delete, or otherwise block or interfere with content it deems dangerous or objectionable.
President Donald Trump for years has falsely claimed tech giants are censoring conservatives and giving preferential treatment to liberals. Recently, Twitter and even Facebook have appended warning or information labels to some of his more dangerous posts, and in rare cases removed them – as they have done for years to other users.
Attorney General Barr has been working to alter Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects websites and their owners from liability over content they host – such as readers' comments – and allows them to make decisions as to what they remove or block based on what those sites and platforms consider objectionable.
Calling Barr's draft "a rare, legislative proposal," The Washington Post reports were it to become law, it would allow the federal government to "police" website owners and tech companies' actions.
"For years, President Trump and other top Republicans have attacked tech giants including Facebook, Google and Twitter for censoring conservatives online, something the U.S. government now may have the ability to police if the Justice Department’s proposal were to become law."
For example, yesterday nine of the top 10 posts on Facebook were from Republicans or far right conservatives.
The top-performing link posts by U.S. Facebook pages in the last 24 hours are from: 1. Franklin Graham 2. Ben Shap… https://t.co/sOa3GgZ4Lg— Facebook's Top 10 (@Facebook's Top 10)1600784590.0
"The White House," the Washington Post continues, "has offered little proof for its claims, and tech companies strongly deny them — while Democratic lawmakers contend the administration should focus instead on hate speech, extremism and election disinformation that spreads virally on the Internet."