Trump REALLY stepped in it calling for repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. He doesn't listen to lawyers, so I can see how he made the mistake - a quick thread
Sect 230 shields social media companies from liability for if they "in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable."
Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc., have cited this law in taking Trumpists off line for lying, doxxing and inciting violence - Trump hates that, of course.
But Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc. are private companies, and they can run their little networks however they want by contracts which they can unilaterally change. They can kick anyone off, or silence them, for any reason. They don't need Congress for that.
What they do need: "website operators generally are immune from liability for third-party content posted on their websites." Ripple Labs Inc. v. YouTube LLC 2020 WL 6822891 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 20, 2020).
If the "generally immune" cases go POOF, FB, Google, YouTube are suddenly: 1) potentially responsible for materials posted on their platforms; 2) potentially responsible for FRAUD conducted on their platform; and 3) subject to any law passed in any state. HUUGE!
For example, in the Ripple Labs case, scammers impersonated some (lolz) cryptocurrency developers, put up a youtube channel which scammed the crypto owners, and stole it all. Ooops. Ripple sued youtube. Case dismissed, youtube "generally not liable."
Another current case, a 12 yo girl sues craigslist where she was trafficked. She BARELY overcomes dismissal by alleging the "erotic services" section and anonymous comms service goes beyond section 230 into content creation. M. L. v. craigslist Inc., (W.D. Wash. Sept. 11, 2020)
She is likely to lose, however, as knowledge of sex trafficking must be specific to victim, not just general. She "has not alleged...that [Kik} knowingly participated in the sex trafficking venture involving her; she alleges that Kik knew "about other incidents." Doe v. Kik
I could go on and on about the ways that FB, Twitter, Youtube are shielded from liability. Inciting riots, Slander, Doxxing, wrecking democracy, facilitating spousal violence, fake cancer cures, etc. Section 230 IS THE REASON THEY ARE SO CARELESS WITH OUR LIVES.
What I can't think of - twitter law help me out - is a meaningful example of how a social media company could face significant liability for silencing Trumpists.
They could be nicked for using their space for anti-competitive behavior, I suppose, but they already create their own advertising and info silos, and so that doesn't seem to be a threat.
They can't be sued for violating the 1st Amendment, because they are private companies.
So, as far as I can think ... if Trump/Mitch are dumb enough to send Nancy P a bill that gives the citizenry $2000 and strikes Section 230 ... that'd be just dandy.

Dirk out.
@File411 your thoughts always welcome
If you dig this kind of thing, I always appreciate a follow. I will also occasionally spam you with @dirkandthetruth music and jokes, but I am generally sane.
Adding @File411 's subthread here, as it has (as always) excellent additional information.
@rosenlaw asks some good questions here. I don't really see anything as minor as individual suits having the slightest impact on Google's bottom line. They would have to clean up inciting terrorist attacks and child slavery, though, one expects

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More from @DirkSchwenk

24 Dec 20
Help me get past 42,000 followers. Also follow me on YouTube and do a good deed in my mom's name.
I mean, I'm Ok
I am occasionally entertaining and I have good neighbors.
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Be The Light - a brand new holiday song. Please share!
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22 Dec 20
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