President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday designed to limit the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for the content users post on their platforms. Axios reports: “Currently, social media giants like Twitter received unprecedented viability shield based on the theory that they are a neutral platform, which they are not,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “We are fed up with it. It is unfair, and it’s been very unfair.” The order comes after the president escalated his attacks against Big Tech in recent days — specifically Twitter, which fact-checked him for the first time this week over an unsubstantiated claim that mail-in voting drives voter fraud.
The order focuses on a portion of the Communications Decency Act known as Section 230, which grants broad liability protections to tech platforms from civil suits when it comes to what users post, and would press regulators to create new rules aimed at pulling back that shield, Trump said at the White House Thursday. It also asks the Federal Trade Commission to report on acts of political bias collected by the White House, he added. Attorney General Bill Barr said that the administration is preparing legislation as well. The Trump administration has long mulled reining in Section 230, and the Justice Department convened a workshop earlier this year on the topic. Trump said he expects the executive order to draw a lawsuit.
“Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even
one which cannot be justified on any other grounds.”
— J. Finnegan, USC.
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