Twitter and Facebook Political Censorship During Presidential Election Prompts Inquiry from FCC Chairman

Posted on 10/15/2020

Twitter and other social media networks play an important role in politics and information dissemination. Events like the Arab Spring were turbo-charged by social media. Social media networks Twitter and Facebook have boldly acted against the Republican party during the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. Twitter had locked key Republican operatives from their social media accounts, including government-linked accounts of the House GOP Judiciary and the Whitehouse spokesperson. Weeks before the election, Twitter’s move to silence on side of the political spectrum, while not effective policing the other side, opens the social media giant to legal liabilities. However, so far, the social media firms have been able to dance around Congress and face practically no actions on their behaviors.

The actions have prompted Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to on rulemaking to clarify the meaning and the scope of Section 230. Section 230 is an important legal shield for tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

Twitter and Facebook remain key holdings for many institutional investors including sovereign funds like Norway Government Pension Fund Global.

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