Donald the Orange has a running battle against ….well everybody…..and most of his claims and lies are on his Twitter account. In case you missed the breakdown…..https://lobotero.com/2020/05/28/trump-twitter-saga-continues/
His Executive Order could strip Twitter and social media their legal protections…..
“This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!” President Trump tweeted Thursday morning. The reason? Late in the afternoon, he signed an executive order that could deal a big blow to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media companies. Among other things, the move could strip the companies of protection from lawsuits stemming from comments or videos posted by individuals. All of this comes amid the backdrop of Twitter’s move to start fact-checking the president’s tweets, which he has condemned as politically biased. “We’re fed up with it,” Trump said at the signing, per the AP. Coverage:
- 26 words: Get ready to hear a lot about “Section 230.” This is part of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, and legal experts (and authors) say it includes “26 words that created the Internet,” per CNN. Those words: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” The section shields social media companies that act in “good faith” from lawsuits due to content posted on their platforms, and Trump’s executive order directs federal regulators to rethink the law.
- More on the law: The 1996 statute is controversial because critics say it allows social media companies to reap profits while avoiding accountability for content such as hate speech and terrorist propaganda, reports the Washington Post. Any change in the law “could mean potentially dramatic free-speech implications and wide-ranging consequences for a broad swath of companies,” per the Post.
- Bias allegations: The executive order also deals with accusations of political bias, and it would charge the FTC with handling complaints and making sure companies are adhering to pledges of neutrality. The current law gives companies much leeway to remove content they deem objectionable, and Trump contends they’re abusing their power, reports Politico. “In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick the speech that Americans may access and convey online,” says a draft version.
- Shift in view: Here’s how the Wall Street Journal sees the change: The executive order “would seek to reshape the way that federal regulators view Twitter and other social-media companies—not as hosts of speech but as monopolies that control millions of Americans’ daily experiences on their platforms.” But any change in regulations would almost certainly end up in court, with companies arguing that the federal government is guilty of overreach.
- Not enough authority? The AP quotes a law professor at Yale who says any new regulation of social media companies would likely have to be approved by Congress.
- The politics: Even if the initiative to impose new restrictions on the companies fails, Trump will likely relish the fight against media powerhouses he accuses of bias. The new Twitter fight is an example. “This plays right into President Trump’s hands,” Jason Miller, communications director for Trump’s 2016 campaign, tells CNN. “They basically handed him a massive gift.
Trump’s authoritarian streak continues to chest thumping for the powers that he just does not possess……
Threatening to shut down Twitter for flagging false content. Claiming he can “override” governors who dare to keep churches closed to congregants. Asserting the “absolute authority” to force states to reopen, even when local leaders say it’s too soon.
As he battles the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has been claiming extraordinarily sweeping powers that legal scholars say the president simply doesn’t have. And he has repeatedly refused to spell out the legal basis for those powers.
“It’s not that the president doesn’t have a remarkable amount of power to respond to a public health crisis. It’s that these are not the powers he has,” said Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas School of Law professor who specializes in constitutional and national security law.
Trump’s attack here is an attack on internet free speech…..and he wants to get rid of it when it applies to him….
You may have never heard of it, but Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the legal backbone of the internet. The law was created almost 30 years ago to protect internet platforms from liability for many of the things third parties say or do on them. And now it’s under threat by one of its biggest beneficiaries: President Trump, who hopes to use it to fight back against the social media platforms he believes are unfairly censoring him and other conservative voices.
Section 230 says that internet platforms that host third-party content — think of tweets on Twitter, posts on Facebook, photos on Instagram, reviews on Yelp, or a news outlet’s reader comments — are not liable for what those third parties post (with a few exceptions). For instance, if a Yelp reviewer were to post something defamatory about a business, the business could sue the reviewer for libel, but it couldn’t sue Yelp. Without Section 230’s protections, the internet as we know it today would not exist. If the law were taken away, many websites driven by user-generated content would likely go dark.
As I continue to write…..the Saga Continues……
I Read, I Write, You Know
“Lego ergo scribo”