The FCC is testing its luck with the Supreme Court, after years of failure in attempting to revise media ownership regulations using justifications that pass Constitutional scrutiny. Prof. Christopher Terry from the University of Minnesota joins us to explain what the Commission argues, and what its odds are.
However, a more immediate concern is that the Trump administration is pushing against Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This is the piece of law that protects websites of all kinds from liability resulting from the content that users post. While this provides a shield to social media like Facebook and Twitter, the umbrella stretches to cover more grassroots media, like any community media platform – including radio – that allows user comments or contributions.
The administration has filed a petition asking the FCC to evaluate its options to regulate speech online – a chilling thought for any radio station that’s worried about the consequences of getting an indecency fine. Yet, this regulation would extend way beyond the boundaries of indecency, into political speech. Prof. Terry says that it looks a lot like the boogeyman version of the Fairness Doctrine, something that Republicans have trotted out as an imminent threat to free speech for decades since it was abandoned by the FCC. So it’s ironic that it’s a Republican administration pushing for its reinstitution under different pretences.
We also touch on the Trump administration’s attempt to challenge state-level net neutrality laws that sprung up in the wake of the FCC’s decision to overturn its Open Internet order.Show Notes
The post Podcast #258 – Trump Admin Raises the Specter of the Fairness Doctrine appeared first on Radio Survivor.
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