You are halfway through a YouTube video when your screen suddenly goes blank. You try to refresh the page, but you only see an error message. You try to visit another website, and that still works, but YouTube refuses to load. And then you realize: the government banned YouTube.
Users of TikTok have feared this scenario since Trump announced he was banning TikTok for national security reasons. The ban has been criticized as un-American by the Economist, the New York Times, and TikTok’s own lawsuit arguing the ban violates free speech.
These criticisms are fair. For decades the U.S. has professed the importance of open markets and free expression, which conflicts with banning an internet service from another country that competes with American ones. Banning foreign companies for being foreign is naked protectionism. …
Do you want President Trump’s employees deciding whether your stories are allowed on Medium?
In May, Trump ordered a federal agency to petition the Federal Communications Commission to regulate internet companies. To do so, the FCC would interpret the a legal provision known as Section 230, which broadly says that online services can’t be sued for user posts unless the service helped create the posts. If you want to know more about Section 230, and why the FCC can’t use it to regulate social media, read my prior piece below. 👇
Despite being an independent agency not controlled by the president, the FCC is taking public comments on Trump’s request. Comments opened on August 3, and in the last 30 days over a thousand comments have been filed. The vast majority want the FCC (which is controlled by Republicans) to regulate every internet company that hosts user-created content. …