A couple of days after Twitter fact-checked a misleading tweet by Donald Trump, President of the United States for the first time, President Trump on Thursday has signed an executive order that targets tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and social media companies that comes under the internet law that provides them unrestricted legal freedom over the content posted by users on their platforms.
According to the final executive order released by The White House, the new order may take back platform liability protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Section 230 of the Act provides internet companies unrestricted legal freedom over the content posted by users on their platforms. The new order will allow the Commerce Department and the Federal Communications Commission to make changes to the law and allow the Federal Trade Commission to create a tool for users to report bias online.
“That’s a big deal. They have a shield. They can do what they want,” President Trump said Thursday. “They’re not going to have that shield.”
Twitter addressed the order on Thursday night saying “This EO is a reactionary and politicized approach to a landmark law,” “#Section230 protects American innovation and freedom of expression, and it’s underpinned by democratic values. Attempts to unilaterally erode it threatens the future of online speech and Internet freedoms.”
Facebook also put ot a statement addressing and opposing the order:
“Facebook is a platform for diverse views. We believe in protecting freedom of expression on our services while protecting our community from harmful content including content designed to stop voters from exercising their right to vote. Those rules apply to everybody. Repealing or limiting section 230 will have the opposite effect. It will restrict more speech online, not less. By exposing companies to potential liability for everything that billions of people around the world say, this would penalize companies that choose to allow controversial speech and encourage platforms to censor anything that might offend anyone.” Liz Bourgeois, a Facebook spokesperson, said Thursday.