Section 230 of the US Communications Act states that no provider of an "interactive computer service" can be held liable for content that users post on their platforms, or for any action taken "in good faith" to restrict access to objectionable material, even if that material is lawful and constitutionally protected. "The president's executive order on Section 230 was politically motivated and legally unsound".
Bay said, the commission's general counsel confirmed that the FCC had the legal authority to reinterpret Section 230, adding, "In keeping with this advice, I intend to proceed with setting the rules to clarify their meaning".
"Social media firms have a First Modification proper to free speech".
The coming debate will center on whether the social media platforms still differ from newspapers and broadcasters with regard to editorial control (previous debates in this area have focused on whether they are more like "common carriers" who simply transmit others' messages).
Facebook said it was preventing the article's spread temporarily, pending third-party fact-checking, while Twitter blocked posts from linking to the article, explaining later that it included hacked documents revealing sensitive information, such as contact details.
Republican FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the FCC "will bring much-needed clarity to Section 230 and close the loopholes that Big Tech has exploited".
In September, Trump nominated Nathan Simington, a senior administration official who was involved in the social media petition, to a seat on the FCC, and last week Trump urged for a quick confirmation vote.
Although legislators on both sides of the aisle have shown deep concern about how social media platforms conduct themselves, as well as particular interest in Section 230, Pai's response prompted swift reactions from Democratic lawmakers.
U.S. President Donald Trump in May directed the U.S. Commerce Department to file a petition with the FCC seeking to curb legal protections for social media companies over a provision known as "Section 230". In May, he threatened to regulate USA social media companies after Twitter fact-checked two tweets he made about mail-in voting that the company deemed misleading. "The FCC does not have the authority to rewrite the law, and Ajit Pai can't appoint himself commissioner of the speech police", Wyden tweeted.
Still, Senate Republicans called for Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to discuss what they call censorship of the story.
Facebook didn't respond, but Twitter in a statement called the move " a reactionary and politicized approach to a landmark law" and threat to "the future of online speech".
The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to subpoena on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey subsequent week to testify on October 23 earlier than the committee about why his firm blocked customers from tweeting or retweeting the New York Publish's tales about Hunter Biden, the Wall Road Journal reported.