WASHINGTON — The Justice Department sent Congress draft legislation on Wednesday that would reduce a legal shield for platforms like Facebook and YouTube, in the latest effort by the Trump administration to revisit the law as the president claims those companies are slanted against conservative voices.
The original law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, makes it difficult to sue online platforms over the content they host or the way they moderate it. Under the proposed changes, technology platforms that purposely facilitate “harmful criminal activity” would not receive the protections, the department said. Platforms that allow “known criminal content” to stay up once they know it exists would lose the protections for that content.
Attorney General William Barr, in a statement, urged lawmakers to “begin to hold online platforms accountable both when they unlawfully censor speech and when they knowingly facilitate egregious criminal activity online.” (While they are shielded