In brief: While most critics of social media giants agree that we need better regulation to increase accountability, Joe Biden thinks an easier route would be to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that gives those companies the excuse of enabling free speech and giving users a voice.
Joe Biden isn’t a fan of Facebook, and likely not a fan of fake campaign sites that troll and garner more attention than his actual campaign.
The Democratic front-runner told the New York Times during an 80-minute interview that to him, the Facebook CEO is “a real problem. […] He knows better.”
Biden alluded to the fact that Facebook, like other social giants and owners of big digital platforms don’t want to take full editorial responsibilities and enforce a strict filter on what can be posted on them. In the case of Facebook, Zuckerberg says he wants it to be a tool that gives the little guys a powerful voice, and as such he will prioritize free speech over policing content.
This means that Facebook can find excuses that all stem from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which offers special protections for internet companies. However, Biden thinks Facebook is not just an internet company and that Section 230 should be revoked to make it easy to hold such companies responsible for “propagating falsehoods they know to be false.”
Biden also advocates for setting similar privacy standards to those imposed by the EU. But his eyes are set on the 20-year-old Communications Decency Act, and Republicans have expressed similar criticisms and proposed several changes to the law.
Meanwhile, other political figures are proposing even more extreme measures against executives of companies that currently pay a relatively small price for their privacy violations and their inaction on misinformation campaigns. One notable example is the “Mind Your Own Business” act proposed by Senator Ron Wyden, which could punish those like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg directly.
In any case, Biden is the only presidential candidate that has asked for Section 230 to be repealed. Last year, President Donald Trump said he had a “constructive meeting” with Mark Zuckerberg about internet regulation and preventing the dissemination of harmful content, but only discussed those issues in more general lines.
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