(JustPatriots.com)- The Federal Communications Commission has no plans to come down hard on social media companies for censoring President Donald Trump.
On Thursday, Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC, said he had no objections to the decisions made by Twitter and Facebook to block Trump from accessing and posting to their platforms. He said:
“Given the circumstances that we saw yesterday … I’m not going to second-guess those decisions.”
Pai was referencing the violence that occurred when Trump supporters entered the U.S. Capitol building. It happened as a joint session of Congress was inside voting to certify the results of the Electoral College.
When Trump’s supporters stormed the building, it forced Congress to go into lockdown and pause their vote. Five people eventually died as a result of the riot.
Twitter and Facebook banned Trump temporarily from their platforms that night, after the president posted a video message to their platforms that urged his supporters to leave the Capitol grounds peacefully. They justified their actions by saying the president was spreading misinformation about election fraud.
Pai was asked by C-SPAN whether he thought the president bore any responsibility for his supporters’ violent actions at the U.S. Capitol. He responded by saying:
“It was a terrible mistake to suggest that the results of the election, and particularly the process that culminated yesterday in the Senate and the House, could in any way be changed. That was a terrible mistake and one that I do not believe should have been indulged.”
Trump designated Pai the chair of the FCC back in January 2017. Apparently, he has no sense of loyalty, though.
Pai said Thursday that he had no plans to act on Trump’s repeated pushes to come down hard on the social media companies. An FCC spokesman confirmed that the agency wouldn’t seek to install new rules that would limit the current liability protections these social media companies enjoy under Section 230.
The president began demanding that the FCC set new rules for social media firms in regard to liability protections. Section 230 is a provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. It essentially shields tech companies from liability for any contact that is posted to their site by users.
It also allows these companies to remove content that is lawful but contains “objectionable” content. That last part is what has drawn the ire of Trump and his supporters, as it’s very subjective. The big tech companies have the ability to choose, on their own, what is “objectionable” and what isn’t based on their beliefs. They don’t have to necessarily justify their reasoning, and they can even remove content that’s perfectly legal under the First Amendment.
These statements by Pai contradict ones he made in mid-October. Then, he said he’d move forward with setting new rules. This week, though, he told C-SPAN that he wouldn’t be doing that now, since there isn’t enough time before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20.