Justice Department Thwarts Trump’s Big Tech Lawsuit, Defends Section 230

Justice Department Thwarts Trump's Big Tech Lawsuit, Defends Section 230 Justice Department Thwarts Trump's Big Tech Lawsuit, Defends Section 230 (Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty)

By Luca Cacciatore | Monday, 22 November 2021 04:22 PM

The Justice Department intervened in former President Donald Trump's lawsuit against Facebook by defending the constitutionality of the internet law Section 230, recent court filings show.

Trump initially filed the lawsuit following the suspension of his Facebook account after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

"The United States hereby intervenes in this action for the limited purpose of defending the constitutionality of Section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act of 1996," the court filing read.

Section 230 is a subsection of the 1996 Communications and Decency Act, which defines the regulation of social media in the U.S. The policy holds that websites are not liable for the content posted to their platforms, according to USA Today.

Trump has alleged that the law gives cover for platforms to discriminate against conservatives, citing his own suspension. During his presidency, he signed an executive order to dismantle the law, but the order was revoked by President Joe Biden early into his term, The Hill reported.

Biden had previously called to dismantle Section 230 on the campaign trail despite revoking the Trump-era executive order.

"Section 230 should be revoked, immediately should be revoked, number one. For Zuckerberg and other platforms," Biden said at the time, per Politico. "It should be revoked because it is not merely an internet company. It is propagating falsehoods they know to be false."

Trump also sued YouTube and Twitter simultaneously for pulling down his accounts. Similar notices in those cases are also expected.

Judges have ordered to transfer the suits against Twitter and YouTube to California. The motion to move the suit against Facebook is still pending in federal court in Miami.

Last year, the Justice Department made a similar move to defend Section 230 in two civil suits filed against Google, a Justice spokesperson told Politico.

Original Article