Friday, August 23, 2019

Report: Pushback On Trump's Social Media Plan

Officials from the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission reportedly are pushing back against a proposal that would task them with regulating social media companies' editorial policies.

The agency officials have voiced concerns that an attempt by them to police content on social media would violate the First Amendment, CNN reported Thursday. The officials were reportedly responding to a draft of a executive order aimed at discouraging web companies from removing posts for political reasons.

That draft order would task the FCC with crafting regulations tying web companies' legal protections to their content moderation policies, according to CNN. The order would also require the FTC to examine content moderation policies when investigating companies.

MediaPost reports that While the details are vague, the potential order appears similar to a recent legislative proposal by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), who also wants to link web platforms' legal protections to their content practices.

Specifically, Hawley's proposed bill would strip large online platforms of the protections of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, unless the companies prove to the FTC that they don't discriminate based on politics or viewpoint. Section 230, considered one of the most important laws affecting the internet, immunizes tech platforms from liability for users' speech.

The reported draft order, like the legislative proposal, reflects complaints leveled by President Trump and other conservatives that tech companies discriminate against right-wing views.

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