FCC Chairman Pai says he plans to take steps to clarify Section 230 of the Communications Act

"Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech. But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters," Pai said.

Updated: October 15, 2020 - 7:40pm

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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday announced that he plans to move ahead with providing clarity about Section 230 of the Communications Act.

"Many advance an overly broad interpretation that in some cases shields social media companies from consumer protection laws in a way that has no basis in the text of Section 230," Pai said in the statement. "The Commission’s General Counsel has informed me that the FCC has the legal authority to interpret Section 230. Consistent with this advice, I intend to move forward with a rulemaking to clarify its meaning."

While Pai affirmed that social media businesses have a Constitutional right to free speech, he said that they do not enjoy a Constitutional guarantee of immunity that media companies like newspapers do not receive.

"Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech. But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters," Pai said.

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