President Donald Trump on Thursday previewed upcoming executive action targeting social media companies for censoring conservatives.
“This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The New York Times earlier previewed a draft of the executive order which would allow the Commerce Department to adjust how Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act would be applied.
Section 230 allows online companies to have broad immunity from liability for content created by their users.
The order draft also includes a proposal for the Federal Trade Commission to build up a tool for tracking online bias. Another proposal would limit federal government funds being used to advertise on social media platforms.
The draft of the executive order remains fluid but the president plans to sign something by Thursday afternoon.
President Trump acted quickly to punish Twitter after the social media platform labeled one of his tweets warning about vote-by-mail fraud with a fact check, sending users to corporate media sources defending the concept.
“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices,” he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.
President Trump frequently sides with conservatives about social media censorship and bias but has not acted on any serious policy or regulatory measures to punish them.
Republicans in Congress have also proposed new legislation to send a message to social media companies.
Sen. Josh Hawley and Sen. Marco Rubio warned Twitter that if they wanted to exercise editorial controls of user content, they were in danger of losing their Section 230 protections.
I will introduce legislation to end these special government giveaways. If @Twitter wants to editorialize & comment on users’ posts, it should be divested of its special status under federal law (Section 230) & forced to play by same rules as all other publishers. Fair is fair
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 27, 2020
The law still protects social media companies like @Twitter because they are considered forums not publishers.
But if they have now decided to exercise an editorial role like a publisher then they should no longer be shielded from liability & treated as publishers under the law.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 27, 2020