Donald Trump signed his ballyhooed executive order regarding social media Thursday. The text of it has not been revealed yet, but all signals indicate that the matter basically pertains to stripping social media platforms of the legal protections they currently enjoy via “removing or totally changing” Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, “a law that gives platforms legal immunity for content posted by third-party users while also giving them cover to make good-faith efforts to moderate their platforms.” This latest tempest in a teapot occurred after Trump became enraged because Twitter dared to slap a fact-check label on two of his tweets. He blew up at the time and is still steaming. The Hill: “We’re here today to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers it has faced in American history, frankly, and you know what’s going on as well as anybody. It’s not good,” Trump told reporters. He accused social media companies of having “unchecked power to censure, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences.” He also said that if he were able to shut Twitter down, he would. Barr did not give details on what legislation focused on 230 could look like. Trump suggested that they could just “remove or totally change 230.” […] That order would direct an agency within the Commerce Department to file a petition with the Federal Communications Commission to clarify the scope of Section 230, a proposition that has already drawn rebukes from Democratic members of the commission. […] Fundamentally, Trump cannot rewrite Section 230 without Congress’s help. Any efforts by agencies like the FCC to make determinations about how the law is applied would almost definitely be challenged and ultimately become a matter for a judge to decide. Americans are dying, but that doesn’t affect Trump. Getting annoyed on Twitter, however, gets his juices boiling. Nancy Pelosi saw it as a means of “dismantling efforts to help users distinguish fact from fiction.” Pelosi called this entire debacle with the executive order, a “desperate distraction” from Trump’s ongoing failure to meaningfully deal with the cornavirus pandemic. Hear hear. It’s just more screaming by a desperately small man, who can’t cope with the realities of the job he’s got, so he chooses to go bonkers over inconsequential side matters. And he’s surrounding by sycophants and enablers who allow it and in fact, who make it possible.
Donald Trump’s need to dominate is now directed at social media platforms and the resulting change in laws could be chilling for the platforms legally, and threatening to the rest of us as consumers. Our privacy could be compromised and we could end up on government watch-lists. Here’s how it shakes down. Big Tech is doing everything in their very considerable power to CENSOR in advance of the 2020 Election. If that happens, we no longer have our freedom. I will never let it happen! They tried hard in 2016, and lost. Now they are going absolutely CRAZY. Stay Tuned!!! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2020 This is Trump in meltdown mode. This is what has occasioned the Executive Order that Kayleigh McEnany told CNN Wednesday that Trump would soon be signing, in reaction — retaliation is the applicable word here — for Twitter daring to put a fact-check label on two of Trump’s false information tweets regarding mail-in voting. Trump’s bound and determined to show social media and the rest of us, that he is the big shot and he tells them, they don’t tell him, so there. It is as basic and infantile as that, but the ramifications are immense. Washington Post: President Trump is preparing to sign an executive order Thursday that could roll back the immunity that tech giants have for the content on their sites, according to two people familiar with the matter. Trump’s directive chiefly seeks to embolden federal regulators to rethink a portion of law known as Section 230, according to the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a document that could still evolve and has not been officially signed by the president. That law spares tech companies from being held liable for the comments, videos and other content posted by users on their platforms. The law is controversial. It allows tech companies the freedom to police their platforms for abuse without fear of lawsuits. But critics say those exceptions have also allowed some of Silicon Valley’s most profitable companies to skirt responsibility for the harmful content that flourishes on their online platforms, including hate speech, terrorist propaganda and election-related falsehoods. [,,,] The order would also seek to channel complaints about political bias to the Federal Trade Commission, which would be encouraged to probe whether tech companies’ content-moderation policies are in keeping with their pledges of neutrality. It would also require federal agencies to review their spending on social media advertising, according to the people familiar with the White House’s thinking. This would make the owners of platforms legally liable for the content posted on their sites. Social media platforms would transform from platforms into publishers, and that’s a different kettle of fish entirely. Now here’s the irony: If this was implemented, Twitter would be compelled to take down the tweets that Trump is bludgeoning Joe Scarborough with these days, accusing him of murdering his former aide, because that level of baseless slander could become actionable. Meanwhile, Trump is glowing, just like the school yard bully. He’s really gonna show Twitter, yes Sir. This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2020 This is what interests Trump right now. The fact that there are now officially 100,000 […]
On Wednesday, Donald Trump signed an executive order to do what he, and every Trump surrogate who appeared on every form of media, spent the previous week insisting that he absolutely could not do—stop separating kids from their parents at the border....
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