This would effectively mean the end of social media—no firm would open itself up to lawsuits based on intemperate comments made by their platform’s users, which may include a deranged U.S. president.
For instance, members of SEAL Team Six might be inclined to sue Twitter any time Donald Trump retweets an insane conspiracy theory suggesting Barack Obama and Joe Biden ordered their assassination because they mistakenly killed Osama bin Laden’s body double.
Late on Thursday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said the FCC would be taking actions to “clarify” Section 230 in advance of the election. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel immediately criticized the decision, saying “The FCC has no business being the President’s speech police.”
The idea that law enforcement can—or should—tell publishers or platforms (some of which are both) what they can or can’t publish in the months leading up to a campaign is a lefty fantasy that has migrated to the right now that the Republicans’ ox is being gored. The ramifications would be horrifying—virtually every decision made by a newspaper or cable news station regarding what to print or say would be subject to a review to determine whether it “helps” a campaign or not.