President Donald Trump approved an executive order this week that asks federal officials to hold social media sites accountable for censoring some political posts.
According to The Christian Post, Trump said the sites are not a “neutral platform.”
“Today, I am signing an executive order to protect and uphold the free speech and rights of the American people,” Trump said at a briefing in the Oval Office. “Currently, social media giants, like Twitter, receive an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they are a neutral platform, which they are not.”
The 1996 Communications Decency Act Section 230 says that social media platforms are not liable for the content that people publish, including possibly defamatory posts. Trump’s executive order revises the 1996 act.
“My executive order calls for new regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it that social media companies that engage in censoring any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield,” Trump said. “That’s a pretty big deal.”
Trump said when social media sites decide to edit or remove postings, they are making “editorial decisions.”
"In those moments, Twitter ceases to be a neutral public platform and they become an editor with a viewpoint," Trump said.
Under the order, Trump asks the Secretary of Commerce, the attorney general and the Telecommunications and Information Administration to file a petition with the FCC to “determine the circumstances under which a provider of an interactive computer service that restricts access to content in a manner not specifically protected by [Section 230] may also not be able to claim protection."
The order also asks that the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission take appropriate action against those sites that make “deceptive acts or practices.”
Finally, the order will send more than 16,000 complaints of social media censorship to the FTC and the Department of Justice to review.
“In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to handpick the speech that Americans may access and convey online,” the order reads.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool
Video courtesy: Fox News
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.