Trump signed an executive order which will target social media companies on Thursday by cracking down on censorship.
He claimed the move will “defend free speech from one of the gravest dangers it has faced in American history.”
Trump’s executive comes on the heel of Twitter applying a “fact-checking” notice to one of his Tweets earlier this week. (CLICK HERE TO READ THAT STORY)
The new order will roll back legal protections Congress established for digital platforms during the public internet’s infancy in Section 230 of a 1996 bill called the “Communications Decency Act”.
A senior official explained some of the administration’s reasoning to Politico:
“These platforms act like they are potted plants when [in reality] they are curators of user experiences, i.e. the man behind the curtain for everything we can see or hear,” an administration official familiar with the issue said Wednesday night. The person said the order, which was described as broad and high level, would address complaints that the online platforms are deceiving people by picking and choosing what content to allow or block instead of acting as politically neutral platforms or moderators.
Digital giants like Google and Facebook have argued the rollback will help not hurt freedom of speech on the internet.
While legal experts content the executive order is will most likely be challenged in court.