Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The Federal Communications Commission Monday took the next step toward enacting a request from President Trump to craft new rules for online content, aimed at ending what he called "censorship" of conservatives. At the same time, the White House withdrew a GOP commissioner's renomination to the agency after he criticized calls for the government to regulate online speech.

The big picture: The FCC's move stems from a May executive order by the president, aimed at scaling back the liability shield that protects platforms from liability for content posted by users.

  • Trump wants the government to step in to ensure platforms are being “fair”— but writing rules that affect how companies like Facebook and Twitter can police speech would be a major new assertion of authority for the FCC.

Driving the news:

  • The FCC asked the public Monday to weigh in on the request to review the liability shield, known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The request came from the Commerce Department, as directed by Trump under the executive order.
  • Later in the day, the White House withdrew Republican Commissioner Mike O'Rielly's nomination for a second term. In a speech last week — although he insisted he wasn't talking about Trump — he slammed those who "demean and denigrate the values of our Constitution" in pushing for the government to direct "private actors to curate or publish speech in a certain way."

What we're hearing: Word in the Senate is that the White House withdrew O'Rielly's nomination specifically because he wasn't supportive enough of having the FCC write rules to curb Section 230's power, a Senate aide tells Axios.

  • O'Rielly had previously been on a glide path to reconfirmation (although Sen. Jim Inhofe did place a hold on his nomination over an unrelated airwaves fight last week).
  • While in the Republican minority in the Obama administration, he and current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai both warned against any effort that might see the FCC regulating the practices of online platforms and other web content companies.

Between the lines: The FCC could have moved straight to authoring proposed rules. It didn't.

  • Asking for input first means it will be at least 45 days of gathering comments before the agency can even start the rulemaking process. Then, it will have to draft a proposal and take months to gather more public input before it can finalize and enact rules.
  • That pushes out the date by which it's possible for the FCC to deliver final rules to well after the November election. And the agency could simply let the matter quietly die at any time.

Yes, but: It also could have denied the petition, as some Democrats on the commission wished. It didn't.

What they're saying: "I strongly disagree with those who demand that we ignore the law and deny the public and all stakeholders the opportunity to weigh in on this important issue," Pai said in a statement accompanying the invitation for public input. "We should welcome vigorous debate—not foreclose it."

Go deeper

Oct 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Right-wing misinformation could gain steam post-election

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With less than a week until the 2020 election, researchers have expressed concern that the information ecosystem today is ripe for an unprecedented level of exploitation by bad actors, particularly hyper-partisan media and personalities on the right.

Why it matters: The misinformation-powered right-wing media machine that fueled Donald Trump's 2016 victory grew stronger after that win, and it's set to increase its reach as a result of the upcoming election, whether Trump wins or loses.

Cuomo: "No way I resign" after sexual harassment accusations

Cuomo at a Feb. 24 press conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was defiant on Sunday, stating again that he would not resign even as more former aides have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The big picture: Cuomo has denied all sexual harassment allegations against him and said that he "never inappropriately touched anybody." He acknowledged in a statement that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." Some of the calls for Cuomo to resign have come from within the Democratic party.

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.