FCC commissioner claims Big Tech has 'weaponized' federal law to push 'partisan political agenda'

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr told “America’s Newsroom” on Friday that social media companies have amassed more control over more speech than any other entity in human history.

Carr suggested that those companies are making “a big bet that they can get away with exercising that power in a biased way for two reasons. One, if they cozy up to left-leaning causes, progressives won’t take action and ... Republicans will just sit on their hands and do nothing."

However, the commissioner added, those days are “over.”

“We’re now seeing bipartisan consensus to take action, whether it is from an antitrust perspective, competition perspective, or, reforming this piece of legislation known as section 230," said Carr, referring to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.


That legislation shields internet service providers and social media companies from liability from content posted on their platforms by third parties in most cases.

"When 230 was first adopted, remember, it was a shield to, sort of, frivolous litigation and now what we're seeing," Carr said, "is that social media companies that have weaponized Section 230 and are using it as a sword to carry out their own partisan political agenda."

On Thursday, Facebook said it had removed posts and ads from President Trump's reelection campaign for violating its policy against organized hate.

The ads showed a red inverted triangle with text asking Facebook users to sign a petition against the far-left movement Antifa. They were run on pages belonging to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, and also appeared in ads and organic posts on the “Team Trump” page.

“The Nazis used red triangles to identify their political victims in concentration camps," Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. "Using it to attack political opponents is highly offensive.”

“Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol,” said a Facebook company spokesperson.

“The inverted red triangle is a symbol used by Antifa, so it was included in an ad about Antifa,” Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, said in an email.


"These entities get to have their own political views," Carr said in response to the dust-up. "What no business gets to do though is run rough shot over their own terms of service to go after politicians on the left or right.

“I think this goes to a broader issue which is you have all sorts of world leaders using these platforms whether it is [Iran Supreme Leader] Khamenei or Chinese Communist propagandists, and it seems like these platforms are narrowly focused on taking these actions against Trump.”