The GOP Section 230 strategy will benefit Trump and only Trump

Adding insult to injury for conservatives is the other industry that would benefit the most from the elimination of Section 230—print and broadcast journalism. Ultimately, most “free” online services rely on advertising dollars. They compete vigorously for those dollars with traditional media companies.

Eliminating Section 230 would reinvigorate the dominant media gatekeepers that conservatives have long accused of shutting out their viewpoints. For web services focused on user-created content that do manage to survive, content-moderation practices would be significantly tightened—and ultimately enforced by the same people being accused of anti-conservative bias today. Put simply, it would give even more power to tighten the screws to the people that Senator Josh Hawley, a leading critic of Sec. 230, distrusts in the first place.

Prominent conservative voices would find themselves back at square one and forfeit the largely open access to enormous audiences they enjoy today. Perhaps it would be useful for a victimhood-themed donation appeal, but it seems penny wise and pound foolish as a long-term strategy.