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Wake Up To Politics Podcast: The 26 Words That Created the Internet

Donald Trump is fighting with Twitter. Joe Biden is fighting with Facebook. And a much-discussed, but little-understood, legal provision known as Section 230 is at the center of all of it. 

In the latest episode of Wake Up To Politics, I'm joined by two expert guests to break down Section 230 — the so-called "26 Words That Created the Internet" — and why it matters.  

Protocol reporter Issie Lapowsky will explain how the provision was crafted and why politicians from both sides of the aisle are attempting to change it. And then veteran journalist Sanford Ungar, the director of the Georgetown Free Speech Project, will frame the battle over regulating social media in the context of America's long-running debate over the First Amendment. 

This is a critical topic that is driving a lot of discussion in Washington and Silicon Valley right now, but one you might not know a lot about, so I hope you give the episode a listen. I know I learned a lot while making it.

Listen now on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Play, or Stitcher, and subscribe to make sure you don't miss an episode. If you enjoy the show, make sure to tell your friends and leave a review on the podcast platform of your choice. 

Further reading on social media regulation:
  • Read Issie's reporting on President Trump's recent executive order targeting Section 230 and social media companies. 
  • Read the New York Times report on Joe Biden's plans to attack Facebook over their policies on misinformation. 
  • Read Bloomberg Businessweek about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's decision to take action against President Trump's tweets.
  • Read The Guardian about the potential for the president's executive order to backfire.
  • Read Section 230 itself.
  • Read the president's executive order.
  • Explore the Georgetown Free Speech Project's Free Speech Tracker, which documents incidents relating to the First Amendment.
    • Some posts particularly relevant to the episode are about conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' removal from social media platforms, Facebook's decision not to remove a falsified video of Nancy Pelosi, and the company's move to block posts promoting anti-lockdown posts during the coronavirus. 
Some recent articles relating to past podcast episodes:
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