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Joe Biden's Commerce Secretary nominee, Gina Raimondo, is pledging to use the tools at her disposal to pursue Section 230 reform, saying that she hopes to hold social media companies "accountable" for misinformation.
"I would agree we need some reform on Section 230," Raimondo said during her confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Commerce Committee. She said she would tap the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency within the Commerce Department, to "convene stakeholders, convene industry, consult … members of Congress to figure out the details of that reform."
"I think platform accountability is important," she said in response to questions about social media from Sen. Ron Johnson. "I've seen in my own state that misinformation hurts people. We have to hold these companies accountable, we need platform accountability."
"But of course that reform would have to be balanced against the fact that these businesses rely upon user-generated content for their innovation, and they've created many thousands of jobs," she added.
Biden's team has been relatively quiet so far about plans to pursue Section 230 reform, although he voted to take on the controversial statute during his time on the campaign trail. Raimondo's comments could offer an early hint about the new administration's approach.
Donald Trump's social media executive order required NTIA to send a petition requesting changes to Section 230 to the FCC. Former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai accepted the NTIA's petition but ultimately did not move forward on any rulemaking about the statute.
Emily Birnbaum ( @birnbaum_e) is a tech policy reporter with Protocol. Her coverage focuses on the U.S. government's attempts to regulate one of the most powerful industries in the world, with a focus on antitrust, privacy and politics. Previously, she worked as a tech policy reporter with The Hill after spending several months as a breaking news reporter. She is a Bethesda, Maryland native and proud Kenyon College alumna.