In an unusual move, President Donald Trump took to twitter to urge the confirmation of Nate Simington to succeed Michael O'Rielly as a Republican member of the FCC.
Trump pulled O'Rielly's nomination and replaced it with Simington, who reportedly is more attuned to the President's desire to regulate social media.
The President tweeted:
Nate Simington, a very smart and qualified individual, is having his Senate hearing today. Republicans will hopefully confirm him to the FCC ASAP! We need action NOW on this very important nomination!! @SenatorWicker @MarshaBlackburn @senatemajldrNovember 10, 2020
The President might be hoping to ensure there is a third vote for regulating social media by "clarifying" Section 230 of the Communications Act, which grants social media immunity from liabiltity over how they moderate third-party content. That is the effort O'Rielly questioned.
Simington is currently senior advisor at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is the President's chief communications advisory arm, where he worked on 5G security/supply chain issues.
He also reportedly worked on NTIA's petition to the FCC to come up with that regime for regulating social media that the President had called for.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.