Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas argued in a filing dated Tuesday that the highest court in the land should welcome a case on Big Tech protections, particularly those laid out in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The immunities offered by Section 230 have been interpreted too broadly and are due for a narrower reading, according to Thomas.
Section 230 reads in part, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
“Thomas wrote about Section 230 in a filing following the court’s decision not to hear a Section 230-related case, MalwareBytes Inc. v. Enigma Software Group,” detailed Axios. The Supreme Court correctly passed on the case, he argued, but said “it should welcome the chance to scale back Section 230 from the bench through a different case,” the report added.
“Extending §230 immunity beyond the natural reading of the text can have serious consequences,” wrote Justice Thomas, an originalist.
It would “behoove” the court “to consider a narrower reading of the law,” he added, according to Axios.
“Thomas wrote that internet companies have been granted ‘sweeping protection’ and that courts are reading more comprehensive immunity into Section 230 than was intended,” the report noted.
Earlier this week, Big Tech behemoths Facebook and Twitter limited the reach of a story from the New York Post showing that Hunter Biden allegedly introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a Ukrainian energy executive a year before the vice president pushed Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor who was then probing the executive’s company, as noted by The Daily Wire.
“While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said Wednesday. “This is part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation. We temporarily reduce distribution pending fact-checker review.”
Twitter cracked down even further, barring users from tweeting the Post article and reportedly locking the New York Post out of its account.
Moreover, the personal account of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was suspended for sharing the Post report.
“In a screenshot disseminated by the Trump War Room, Twitter appeared to have sent McEnany a notification that her ‘account has been locked’ for ‘violating our rules against distribution of hacked materials,’” The Daily Wire reported. “McEnany’s tweet was subsequently deleted. It remains unclear if McEnany was forced to delete it, or if Twitter deleted it for her.”
President Donald Trump reacted Wednesday: “So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of ‘Smoking Gun’ emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the [New York Post]. It is only the beginning for them. There is nothing worse than a corrupt politician. REPEAL SECTION 230!!!”
So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of “Smoking Gun” emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the @NYPost. It is only the beginning for them. There is nothing worse than a corrupt politician. REPEAL SECTION 230!!! https://t.co/g1RJFpIVUZ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2020