FCC sucked deeper into partisan politics, Trumpism: Nominated commissioner sparks conflict-of-interest row - 2020-11-11
At a Senate hearing this week investigating whether Nathan Simington should take over the position to be vacated by commissioner Michael O'Rielly in January, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) asked him if the nominee would recuse himself from a review by the American regulator of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).
When Simington failed to say he would, Blumenthal made it plain he would hold up his nomination as a result. "I'm deeply troubled by your apparent refusal to commit to recusing yourself. And I will put a hold on your nomination as long as you decline to make that commitment," the senator said.
What's this all about? Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the slice of US law that, give or take some caveats, protects internet platforms from being sued into oblivion for what their users share online. It makes sure Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc, largely can't be held responsible for netizen-generated content, and is a cornerstone of the internet as we know it today. There is an ongoing push to overhaul or dissolve this legal shield by those who are upset at what they claim is censorship by the web giants.