Continetti: Bipartisan Coalition Emerging Against Social Media Protections

• May 28, 2020 8:39 pm


A bipartisan coalition is forming behind the push to roll back legal protections currently enjoyed by social media companies, Washington Free Beacon founding editor Matthew Continetti said Thursday.

"The truth is it's not just senators like Ted Cruz [R., Texas] and Josh Hawley [R., Mo.]," Continetti said on Fox News's Special Report. "It's also people like Elizabeth Warren [D., Mass.] and even Joe Biden who have said that Section 230 needs to be repealed."

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday seeking to change the way the law treats social media companies. The order is expected to face legal challenges, but Continetti argued it is "another step along that path" to undoing Section 230.

Continetti added that social media companies and other technology giants have been benefiting from ambiguity in the law.

"Are they publishers or are they platforms?" he said.

Section 230, part of the act passed in 1996, broadly exempts tech companies from being held legally liable for the content users post. The section is widely credited with allowing the growth of companies like Google, YouTube, and social media websites.

In 2018, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act attenuated some of the legal protections provided by the law. The act requires companies to remove content that violates sex trafficking laws.

Hawley has introduced legislation in the Senate to amend Section 230 immunity, and Cruz has also spoken out about changing the law. Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, said this year that he supports repealing the act, and Warren has introduced a plan to weaken online free speech protections.