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Trump Launches All-Out Effort to Regulate Social Media Companies

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Trump’s executive order to regulate US social media companies will likely spark a legal battle over the First Amendment and a US law that shields internet platforms from liability over user content.
(Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)
Twitter’s decision to fact-check Donald Trump has prompted the president to sign an executive order that’s intended to prevent US social media companies from censoring conservative viewpoints.
The goal is to amend a US law that shields internet companies from getting sued when they host user content found to be illegal or objectionable. Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the internet provider simply needs to make a “good faith” effort to take down the content after being notified of its existence.
Trump now wants to “remove or change” Section 230, claiming the law has paved the way for companies to gain monopolistic control of the internet. In a Thursday press availability in the Oval Office, the president specifically called out Twitter after the company fact-checked two of his tweets concerning mail-in balloting causing voter fraud.
SEE ALSO: Twitter CEO: We’ll Continue to Fact-Check Trump’s Misleading Tweets on Voting
“The choices that Twitter makes when it chooses to suppress, edit, blacklist or shadow ban are editorial decisions, pure and simple,” he claimed. “In those moments, Twitter ceases to be a neutral public platform and become an editor with a viewpoint.
“And I think we can say that about others also. Whether you’re looking at Google, Facebook, and perhaps others,” he added.
Via today’s executive order, the president plans on challenging Section 230 in three main ways:
He’s calling on the Federal Communications Commission to clarify the scope of the law, and whether the legal protections should apply to companies acting in bad faith and caught conspiring to censor users.
The executive order claims social media companies are engaging in “unfair and deceptive acts” when they block or ban users.

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