Section 230 is threatened in new bill tying liability shield repeal to $2,000 checks – TechCrunch

Tech got another irrelevant Congress scuffle this week after President Trump agreed to sign a bipartisan pandemic relief package, but continued to press for an additional $ 2,000 check, which his party opposed during negotiations did.

In a tweet and other comments, Trump made a push for enhanced relief payments to his completely unrelated demand to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Relief Act, an important but already vague law that would allow Internet companies to give users – Prevents legal liability for material generated.

The political situation was further complicated after Republicans in Georgia’s two extremely high stakes runaways. Parties with Trump over additional investigation Instead of a majority of Republicans in Congress.

This technical regulation, in a move, is more a political maneuver than a real stab at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Introduced a new bill Republicans, adding a $ 2,000 payment late on Tuesday, first blocked for the outright repeal of Section 230 – a proposal that is sure to be wasted in Congress.

McConnell’s bill outraged the president’s demanding liberal group while creating an integrated, viewing opportunity for his party to confront Georgia’s position. The proposal also looms in a study on voter fraud, not because it is relevant, but because it is another pet issue that Trump pulled out of the mess.

During 2020, Trump has repeatedly returned to the norm of repealing the protection of Section 230 as one cudgel he may go against tech companies, Especially Twitter when the platform rules that their tweets are downgraded or paired with misinformation.

If the latest development seems confusing, because it is. Section 230 and the stimulus law have nothing to do with each other. And we were Just talking about section 230 In connection with another completely unrelated legislation, a large annual defense spending bill called the NDAA.

Last week Trump decided to veto that bill, Which enjoyed widespread bipartisan support because it funds the military and does most of the other disputed stuff, on the grounds that it does not cover their Section 230 security tech companies’ completely unrelated demand. Trump’s move was far from left-field, but it opened the door for Democrats to take advantage of their cooperation in a two-thirds majority, to override Trump’s veto for other stuff they want now, namely $ 2,000 incentive check for Americans. Sen bernie sanders Trying to do.

Unfortunately, McConnell’s move here is mostly a creepy one, damaging to Americans in financial turmoil. An explicit repeal of Section 230 is a position without any support among Democrats. And while Trump-aligned Republicans have flirted with the idea of ​​stripping the online platforms of the legal shield, some flavor of the reform is on the table and is likely to be hashed out in 2021.

For lawmakers who understood the far-reaching implications of the law, reform was always a more likely outcome rather than outright repeal. In the exceptionally unlikely event that Section 230 is repealed through this week’s strange series of events, many websites, apps, and online services that people rely on will be thrown into chaos. Without the liability protection of section 230, websites from Yelp to Fox News will be legally responsible for hosting any user-generated reviews and comments. If the end of the comment sections don’t seem so bad, imagine an internet without Amazon reviews, tweets, and many other by-products of the social internet.

The thing is, it’s not going to happen. McConnell does not want Americans to receive an additional $ 2,000 check and Democrats will not be prepared to secure the funding to agree a completely unrelated last-minute proposal. Internet rulesEspecially with Regulatory pressure on mounting technology And 230 more serious reform efforts still going on. The proposed bill is also not guaranteed to come up for one vote in zero days of this congressional session.

The end result would be that McConnell proposed to the president that by giving him what he wanted, Democrats were suddenly in the midst of a very deadly and financially disastrous crisis with excessively extra stimulus and not bad for opposing Americans is. He has more money in his pocket. not great.