We know it’s been a crazy ride this last week. And month. And year. But even now, Donald Trump and U.S. Senate Republicans aren’t holding back on their agenda to punish and silence those who call out their lies.
Here’s the bottom line: Trump is trying to appoint Nathan Simington to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He would be one of the worst, most dangerous FCC commissioners the United States has ever seen, and Mitch McConnell is speeding the Senate toward his confirmation.
Here’s how we got here:
Donald Trump has been spreading misinformation online for years, and over the past few months we have seen him use that same tactic to try to undermine people’s confidence in the U.S. election. When Trump tweeted that mail-in ballots are fraudulent — a claim not based on facts and motivated by his own political agenda — Twitter appended links to his tweet directing people to resources showing that mail-in ballots are safe.
Twitter’s actions were very moderate, especially considering the stakes. But Trump, of course, was furious.
In response, Trump signed an executive order calling on several agencies to dismantle protections that allow social media platforms to foster free expression. The mandate would make it easier for Trump to bully platforms that warn the public of his lies.
The last time you heard from us about this, we told you the FCC was deciding whether to rewrite the law in Trump’s favor. Despite thousands of people reaching out to demand otherwise, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a week before the election, decided to move that process forward.
Now, Trump has nominated Nathan Simington to be an FCC commissioner. He is an inexperienced attorney who strongly prefers to use regulatory powers to stifle online speech, backed by the same industry giants who have used the FCC to push through other attacks on digital rights. Plus, he wrote the Trump administration’s proposal for FCC reinterpretation of Section 230, which is a disaster for free speech and factual information online. Trump wants to move him over to the FCC to adopt his own proposal.
Republicans in the Senate are pulling out all the stops to rush through Simington’s confirmation before this session of Congress ends in December.
It’s wrong on all levels, but most importantly, a supporter of censorship has no business on the FCC. This is a big deal now, and a big deal for the road ahead — including in the fight to restore net neutrality protections Ajit Pai stripped away.
We’ve joined forces with our friends at Fight For the Future, Demand Progress, EFF, and Free Press to fight back. Take action now to let key senators know this confirmation cannot go forward.