That’s why it’s disheartening that President Trump seeks to weaken Section 230; that former vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, called for its outright repeal; and that some members of Congress are acting to undermine this critical protection. Widely mischaracterized as immunity from liability for speech by platforms, the protections of Section 230 extend only to the good-faith efforts of online providers to prevent “bad speech” (libel, imminent threats of violence, etc.) by third parties posted on platforms. It encourages today’s tech companies not to turn a blind eye to unlawful content simply because of the risk of missing something and being held responsible for third-party speech.
Mr. Trump’s executive order would undo decades of successful Federal Communications Commission efforts to support robust online competition. With the exception of broadcast radio and television, content regulation is not the FCC’s business. It shouldn’t be here, either.
Jason Oxman, Washington
The writer is president and chief executive of the Information Technology Industry Council.