Enlarge /. Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC, on December 14, 2017 in Washington, DC, the day the FCC will vote to lift the net neutrality rules.
Federal Communications Commission chair Ajit Pai has made the FCC a "political appendage to President Trump's campaign" by supporting Trump's fight against social media sites, two House Democrats said yesterday.
"Chairman Pai's decision to begin rule making under Section 230 is an obvious attempt to aid a contested President Trump," said Frank Pallone Jr. (DN.J.), chairman of the Energy and Trade Committee, and Mike Doyle (D-Penn, Chair of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee). ). "The timing and urgency of this decision makes it clear that it is designed to influence the behavior of social media companies in the run-up to an election, and it is shocking to see this supposedly independent regulator seize the opportunity, a political appendage campaign to become President Trump. "
Last Thursday, Pai announced that he supported President Trump's proposal to limit legal protections for social media websites that block or modify content posted by users. Pai said he would propose a new interpretation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to limit the immunity of sites like Facebook and Twitter from blocking or reviewing content. Trump claims companies are conservative bias and he wants to post on social media without the platforms adding fact-checking or limiting the reach of posts that violate their rules.
Pallone and Doyle say Pai shouldn't help Trump fight social media companies:
From the beginning, Republicans have used the Section 230 debate to threaten social media companies if they remove or report disinformation and extremism on their platforms – all over an unfounded fantasy complaint that the internet is biased against conservative views . Their approach leads to a defense of online extremism and disinformation campaigns abroad, which is a confusing and dangerous position for lawmakers.
Section 230 reform that provides a structure for healthier online ecosystems is needed and we are determined to make it happen. However, the FCC's rush to move President Trump's agenda forward weeks before election day should be seen for the ruthless and politically motivated stunt that it is.
We contacted Chairman Pai's office today regarding the Pallone / Doyle statement and will update this article if we receive a response.
Trump stacks the FCC
The FCC is said to act independently of the White House, but its members are appointed by the President. Trump is trying to pile the commission up by replacing FCC Republican Commissioner Michael O & # 39; Rielly with Nathan Simington, a government official who shares Trump's views on Section 230. Simington's nomination is still pending.