Online platforms

Twitter casts itself as the anti-Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Twitter's move to ban political ads is just the latest of several moves by the platform to position itself as an antidote to what critics see as Facebook's missteps and ethical lapses.

Why it matters: The free speech banner Facebook is waving used to be shared by most of the big social media companies. A Twitter exec once called the company "the free speech wing of the free speech party."

  • But amid an extraordinary backlash toward Facebook from critics angered at its role in spreading misinformation, its rivals are distancing themselves — and are using the moment to frame their free speech principles as better suited to the era of social media.

Lawmakers target law protecting Reddit, Google from content liability

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman
Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Lawmakers mulling changes to the law that shields Facebook, Reddit and other online platforms from liability over user-generated content found some bipartisan common ground during a House Energy & Commerce joint subcommittee hearing Wednesday.

Why it matters: Technology companies say changing the law that protects online platforms — Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — is an existential threat to their business models and the internet itself. But both Republicans and Democrats agreed the platforms are not doing enough to police themselves when it comes to removing harmful content from their sites.