“This will be a great day for social networks and JUSTICE!” Announced Donald Trump earlier this Thursday on his Twitter profile. The same social network that has triggered the signing of a executive order to limit the immunity that these platforms have when moderating their content.

The US president was in a rage last Tuesday after Jack Dorsey’s company tagged several of his tweets as “potentially misleading.” An action interpreted by the president as a Attack on freedom of expression, as he later added by the same means.

“Twitter is completely cracking down on FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”

The publications in question referred to the implantation of the vote by mass mail in the face of the presidential elections next November, calling the method “fraudulent”.

In the same framework, accused Twitter of interfering in the 2020 elections and he assured that he “would not allow” that to happen. Some words that are translated in the order I signed today, which aims to regulate the neutrality rules followed by social networks.

Section 230

In the document, titled “Preventing Online Censorship”, Trump reflects that online content platforms are censoring content “selectively”. It states that this type of actions, as well as the eventual deletion of accounts, occur in many cases without any explanation or justification.

In addition, he accuses Twitter, Facebook and Google, for example, of collaborating with the Chinese government in the creation of search engines and accepting money to distribute their propaganda.

The entire order is focused on the request for revision of Section 230. This is a legislative section that exempts platforms from any legal responsibility for content published by third parties on them, in addition to providing freedom of moderation on it. The document, however, also clarifies that the moderation must be carried out “in good faith”, suppressing – if appropriate – the content harmful to it.

Trump considers, however, that this is not the case of the movements of some social networks, which hide certain intentionality behind their decisions. This editorial and speech control role would withdraw the rights to said immunity.

In this way, the president requests the Federal Communications Commission of the United States (FCC) to review the situations in which social networks and other platforms operate “they do not act in good faith” by moderating their content.

Tightening standards

Along with the above, from the Executive prohibits public bodies from making any investment in advertising on social networks that violate the principles of freedom of expression. Additionally, the White House Technology Bias Reporting Tool will be reinstated.

This may be used by citizens to report online censorship actions that they are witnesses to. They will be forwarded to a working group that will be responsible for monitoring them.

Although the possibilities of making this a reality through an executive order are not yet clear, set the precedent for what already seems a Trump’s open fight against online platforms in the months leading up to the 2020 elections. It is important to remember that the inaction of these largely marked those of 2016, where he was elected.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, was running wild in the past hours of accusations. The person in charge of the platform expressed that they are not “arbiters of the truth” and that they only seek to provide more context in publications that may be controversial.


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