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Biden administration blurs lines on First Amendment and misinformation

the White House
the White House’s
The White House
Big Tech
Fox News

Joe Biden
Kate Bedingfield
Ken White
Donald Trump


Big Tech

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The New York Times
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Instead, it’s offering blurred lines between reasonable guidance and an unreasonable government crackdown by condoning the idea that Facebook should be legally “accountable” for false claims.In an interview with MSNBC about anti-vaccine misinformation, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield responded to a question asking if Biden would change Section 230 to make companies “liable for publishing that information, and then open to lawsuits.” Bedingfield responded that “we’re reviewing that, and certainly they should be held accountable.”The idea that Section 230 is holding back a crackdown on misinformation is... As attorney and writer Ken White (also known as Popehat) pointed out on Twitter, Biden could have emphasized from the start that Facebook has a First Amendment right to allow much false information, even if he thinks the site has a moral duty to remove it.Bedingfield could easily have made a similar point in her interview, even leaving the door open to changing Section 230 in other ways — something like “we believe in holding Big Tech accountable and are reviewing laws including Section 230, but we also respect platforms’ right to moderate legal content as they see fit and hope they’ll use that power responsibly.”And when it comes to most false information online — especially information involving the coronavirus pandemic, where even good-faith medical advice and scientific consensus changes continuously — the US government should continue to respect the right to host that content.

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