WASHINGTON (AP) — Lurking beneath Facebook’s decision on whether to continue Donald Trump’s suspension from its platform is a far more complex and consequential question:

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Do the protections carved out for companies when the internet was in its infancy 25 years ago make sense when some of them have become global powerhouses with almost unlimited reach?

The companies have provided a powerful megaphone for Trump, other world leaders and billions of users to air their grievances, even ones that are false or damaging to someone’s reputation, knowing that the platforms themselves were shielded from liability for content posted by users.

Now that shield is getting a critical look.

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