Not so long ago, Mike O’Rielly found himself the victim of a White House plan to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. A strict constitutionalist, the Republican FCC Commissioner found himself at odds with the Trump Administration’s desire to apply an eraser to a rule that states “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
O’Rielly’s nomination for another term as a Commissioner was rescinded. Enter Nathan Simington, who reportedly played a role in the White House plan to redo Section 230.
With Simington at the Commission, and Chairman Ajit Pai signaling a Section 230 rule review would commence, all eyes were on the Republican leadership at the FCC on when, not if, it would act at Trump’s behest.
Then came the November 2020 presidential election. Trump today is in Palm Beach, Fla. Pai has yielded the FCC’s Chairman role to acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. With little chance of Section 230 reform coming under Rosenworcel’s watch, Congress has opted to act in what is being called a “bipartisan” show of support.