Trump signs executive order aimed at regulating social media platforms
Washington DC, May 29, 2020 : US President Donald Trump on Thursday (local time) signed an executive order aimed at increasing the ability of the government to regulate social media platforms.
Speaking from the Oval Office ahead of signing the order, Trump said that the move was to "defend free speech from one of the gravest dangers it has faced in American history," CNN reported. The order comes two days after Twitter labelled two of Trump's tweets as "potentially misleading".
The executive order tests the boundaries of the White House's authority.
The order marks a dramatic escalation by Trump in his war with tech companies as they struggle with the growing problem of misinformation on social media.
On Thursday, Trump acknowledged that legal challenges to the order are on the horizon, saying he was "sure they will be doing a lawsuit".
"I guess it is going to be challenged in court, what isn't? But I think we are going to do very well," he said.
That order would direct an agency within the Commerce Department to file a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clarify the scope of Section 230, a proposition that has already drawn rebukes from Democratic members of the commission.
Another section of the order would encourage federal agencies to review their spending on social media advertising. (ANI)
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Moments ago in the Oval Office, President Trump signed an Executive Order to fight online censorship by technology corporations, including social media platforms.
Tech bias is a major issue facing our democracy. It challenges the free exchange of ideas and public debate that protects our civil liberties. Every citizen—liberal, conservative, or otherwise—has a right to be heard and treated fairly online.
In the next few hours, you may hear a lot about this Executive Order. Leftwing media will claim it addresses a fake problem because tech bias doesn’t exist. Democrats in Congress will say the President is exceeding his authority. Some in the Beltway establishment will say the order doesn’t do that much in the first place.
All of these are lies. Here are a few of the key actions in President Trump’s order:
Makes it U.S. policy that platforms who selectively edit, censor, or are not acting in “good faith” with regards to content will not receive the liability protection included in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
Directs the Commerce Department to petition the FCC to make clarifying rules on Section 230 in line with U.S. policy
Helps stop millions of taxpayer dollars from being wasted by federal agencies on advertising with biased social media platforms
Ensures the Justice Department will review more than 16,000 complaints about politically motivated censorship that were collected by the White House in advance of a Social Media Summit held last year
Mobilizes State Attorneys General—who have massive subpoena and consumer protection authorities—to ensure social media platforms are not engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices
Acts as federal law and lists the many ways in which tech platforms act with bias against viewpoints they disagree with
Massive corporations that treat millions of American citizens unfairly shouldn’t expect special privileges and protections under the law. With President Trump’s Executive Order today, our country is one step closer to having an honest, fair public debate.