There was not a lot of common ground for President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden during the election campaign, but they have shared one lane—targeting a revision of Section 230, the Communications Decency Act law that protects technology firms from lawsuits for user posts.
Biden would like it revoked, although Fox Business points out that he does not go as far as Trump’s and other Republicans’ assertions that social media companies censor right-wing views. Democrats’ aversion to Section 230 is based more on the companies’ failure to quell hate speech and political misinformation.
But as the Trump administration wages an antitrust case against Google that Biden is expected to continue, the President-elect is lining up friendlier ties with tech industry bigwigs on his transition team while still pursuing stricter rules for their companies.
The State Department includes an Amazon executive. The Office of Management and Budget includes leaders form Amazon, Airbnb and Lyft. The Treasury Department will receive input from LinkedIn, Sidewalk Labs and the American Economic Liberties Project. The Federal Trade Commission takes a more traditional with the director of Georgetown’s Communications & Technology Law Clinic and a Brookings Institute fellow.
Former Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, a Biden fundraiser, is in the running to head a new White House technology industry task force, according to the Financial Times.
“Section 230 should be revoked, immediately,” Biden told The New York Times last year. “Many technology giants and their executives have not only abused their power, but misled the American people, damaged our democracy and evaded any form of responsibility.”
So now that he has the job, what will he do about it?