By Brian Contreras, Los Angeles Times
In the days before the 2020 election was called for Joe Biden, President Trump was on Twitter — doing battle with Twitter.
As the incumbent tweeted through the slow vote-tallying process that would ultimately end in his loss, Twitter had covered much of Trump’s timeline with warning labels cautioning that the president’s posts contained disputed and potentially misleading information. Trump responded by tweeting a reference to Section 230, the obscure, decades-old law that shapes content moderation on social media.
Such feuds with Silicon Valley companies have been a through-line of Trump’s presidency; he has often criticized Facebook and Twitter for conspiring against him, siding with liberals and stifling conservative voices, even as Facebook helped get him elected and Twitter remained his soapbox of choice.
His focus on tech also bled into his long-running trade war with China, as he issued executive orders to keep Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei out of America and ban the Chinese-owned apps WeChat and TikTok (unsuccessfully so far, in the case of both apps).
Now, as Trump enters his lame duck period and Biden readies for the transition of power, there is opportunity for change — but how much can actually be expected?
The paradigm that comes next is not entirely clear. Aside from calls for the social media giants to more aggressively fight misinformation, Joe Biden did not make Big Tech a major focus of his campaign. The makeup of Biden’s Cabinet remains uncertain as well.