WASHINGTON, DC — May 28, 2020. Earlier today, President Trump signed an Executive Order meant to combat political censorship by social media platforms and other technology giants. The argument by the White House is that since every citizen—liberal, conservative, or otherwise—has a right to be heard, the free exchange of ideas and public debate must be defended.
The following are some key components of the Executive Order on Combating Online Censorship:
- 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.
“Today, I am signing an Executive Order to protect and uphold the free speech and rights of the American people,” stated President Trump. “Social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield – that’s a big deal.”
In response to Trump’s executive order, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D) stated, “Allowing the spread of disinformation is extremely dangerous. Yet still, the President encourages Facebook & others to continue to exploit and profit off falsehoods – while directing the federal government to dismantle efforts to help users distinguish fact from fiction.”
“If you’re wondering why this is happening now it is NOT just about Trump & Twitter,” tweeted Dr. Kate Klonick, law professor at St. John’s University. “It is almost certainly also about yesterday’s unanimous ruling against government regulating bias in social media from the DC Circuit.” Dr. Klonick has also stated that she believes that this order is not enforceable and will be struck down quickly.
It should be noted that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects free speech, and was specifically intended to protect political speech as a safeguard against tyranny.
Trump continued, “…virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences, there is no precedent in American history for so small a number of corporations to control so large a sphere of human interaction.”
The court challenges are expected to begin almost immediately.
By Sarah Jones-Koskinen. Opinions are my own. To follow me or add me as a friend on the Bigwigg Social Network, please visit my Profile Page.
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