Following the decision of Twitter to block the spread of a controversial and discredited New York Post article about Hunter Biden, President Donald Trump has called for retaliatory action against internet “censorship” by repealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — the rule shielding internet platforms, from big social media sites to small blogs and comments sections, from legal liability for what third-party users post on their sites.
But as CNN’s Michael Smerconish pointed out on Saturday, the net effect of repealing Section 230 would be to encourage tech platforms to engage in more censorship — and one of the biggest losers could be Trump himself.
“President Trump is calling Facebook and Twitter a ‘monster’ and threatening to go after them, repeal Section 230,” said Smerconish. “In my view, this controversy raises issues that transcend the current election. And for the president, maybe this is a case of be careful what you wish for.”
“This suggests that Trump’s issue with Facebook and Twitter is their alleged censorship,” continued Smerconish. “But if his dream of a world without 230 actually came true, it might have far greater degrees of content restriction, focused on content that might subject platforms to legal liability. And I can think of one figure whom those platforms might immediately consider restricting in a world without 230 as a liability shield.”