Press Release Section 230

Public Knowledge Welcomes White House Section 230 Executive Order Reversal

May 14, 2021 , ,

Today, President Biden revoked an Executive Order signed by former President Trump that would have directed the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission to regulate speech on social media platforms. This Order called for the FCC to develop rules detailing how and when Section 230 shields social media companies when they remove or moderate content on their platforms. Public Knowledge commends the administration for reversing an Order that would have jeopardized free speech online and urges Congress to consider our common-sense principles to ensure that any Section 230 changes promote the public interest.

The following can be attributed to Greg Guice, Director of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge:

“Today’s reversal of the ill-conceived and self-serving Executive Order issued by former President Trump regarding Section 230 is a welcome step. As we stated at the time, ‘Even supporters of Section 230 reform should make it clear that President [Trump’s] Executive Order is not a welcome way to move forward but a cynical hack of our legal and regulatory systems by the President of the United States, to the detriment of the First Amendment and the general legitimacy of the Rule of Law.’ 

“Now that the Biden administration has scrapped this bad Executive Order, we urge those lawmakers looking at possible Section 230 reforms to consider the common-sense principles that we issued earlier this year. A more constructive dialogue around Section 230 reform will be a welcome change from the frenzy created by the previous administration.”

You may view the principles for more details. Please also view our blog post, “Principles to Protect Free Expression on the Internet,” for more information on these guardrails for policymakers to protect consumers’ ability to freely express themselves online.