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3 Dec, 2020 11:48

Tulsi Gabbard backs Trump’s call to rip up Big Tech-shielding Section 230, Twitter predicts she’ll ‘get canceled’ – again

Tulsi Gabbard backs Trump’s call to rip up Big Tech-shielding Section 230, Twitter predicts she’ll ‘get canceled’ – again

Donald Trump’s demand to repeal an old rule shielding tech giants from liability for things users publish has been endorsed by maverick Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, prompting speculation that her party will disown her again.

Gabbard, whose term representing Hawaii expires in January, voiced her support for President Trump on Twitter. “Please don’t back down. The freedom and future of our country is at stake,” she wrote on Tuesday, in response to his demand to repeal Section 230.

The piece of legislation was adopted in the 1990s to protect the budding internet sector from lawsuits over things that users publish on their platforms. Because of it, companies like Facebook and Twitter are not treated as publishers that can be held accountable for the content that they provide access to.

Critics say the provision has outlived itself, giving undue protection to dangerously powerful corporations. Today, these tech giants use algorithms that decide what users see, automated moderation tools and explicit warnings to act as de facto editors. Trump, who has his own beef with the big social media platforms, has demanded Section 230 be repealed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and has threatened to veto it if it’s not.

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Open support for a Trump proposal coming from a Democratic party member is a rare thing in the highly polarized American political landscape. Camp Blue accuses the Republican president of many sins, from collusion with Russia, to disgracing his office by refusing to concede to Joe Biden, to hatching a military plot to usurp power.

Gabbard’s breaking of the ranks stirred anger and prompted predictions that she would be “canceled” again.

When she was running in the Democratic presidential primaries, Gabbard was widely smeared by the party establishment and their friendly media as a “Russian asset” and a secret Republican. Hillary Clinton infamously predicted that the Hawaiian representative would run as an independent to hurt whichever Democrat was eventually nominated, which never happened.

Gabbard eventually endorsed Biden’s candidacy rather than that of Bernie Sanders, whom she backed in 2016, even leaving her position in the Democratic National Committee to do so. Her endorsement of Biden offered a brief moment of an ‘all is forgiven now’ attitude from the center, while her supporters could only mockingly remark that Gabbard won more delegate votes during the primary than Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate.

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Gabbard consistently rejects the partisanship divide that many other US politicians currently accept as a fact of life. Just a few days ago, she voiced her support for a Supreme Court decision that temporarily suspended Covid-19 restrictions placed on religious institutions in New York. The prevailing Left narrative is that the ruling proves that the top US judiciary body has been hijacked by Trump-appointed religious zealots, who value faith more than human lives.

Ironically, on Section 230 Gabbard seems to agree not only with Trump, but also Biden. In a January interview with the New York Times, the then-presidential candidate unequivocally said he wanted it to be “immediately” revoked. Gabbard openly criticized the provision during her primary campaign and in October co-sponsored a bill which would amend Section 230.

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