Trump seeks to punish Twitter and all of social media via executive order (1 Viewer)

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superchuck500

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Despite Twitter historically granting Trump far more latitude with violations of Twitter terms of service than average members would get, a recent tagging of a Trump tweet with Twitter's fact-checking tool enraged the president. He announced yesterday that he will take retribution via executive order seeking to remove statutory legal protections in place for social media companies, and instructing his executive agencies (the FCC an DOJ) to formulate plans to take legal action against social media companies for "political bias."

A draft of the order has been released . . . and it is troubling to say the least.

According to analysis, the order will "reinterpret" a key provision of the Communications Decency Act (Sec. 230) that previously protected social media companies for responsibility for the content on their sites. That section works by declaring that social media companies are not "publishers" of the content posted by third-party account holders (members) - and it is statutory. The Trump order apparently also instructs the FCC to create regulations to make this new "interpretation" of Sec. 230 actionable against social media companies. In addition, the order apparently instructs the FTC (which is not an executive agency) to report to Congress on "political bias" in social media - and to consider using the reinterpreted Section 230 to bring actions against social media companies for political bias.

Apparently the order also instructs DOJ to work with state AGs to determine what state laws may be used against social media companies for political bias.

So yep, a Republican president is attempting to restructure the statutory framework that has allowed American social media companies - which are private business by the way - to grow into corporate giants without having to be answerable in court for the content posted by their members. And will do so based on the notion that private business should be held to some standard of political neutrality.

Further legal analysis will be needed, but it seems highly suspect on several important grounds (including the fact that Section 230 is statutory and is very explicit - it's not subject to rewrite by executive order). More importantly this idea that "political bias" can be defined and made actionable by federal agencies against private companies seems a patent violation of the First Amendment.


 
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superchuck500

superchuck500

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Like you said, they're a private company with a Terms of Service. If he's so offended by being fact checked he's welcome to log off Twitter.
It's easy to say that but he's signing this executive order. He has vast power to use in retribution, even if it is on wholly inappropriate legal grounds . . . that hasn't stopped him in the past. Of course it is likely that the order will be enjoined quickly but we really don't know.
 

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If he succeed with this, then his next targets will be "biased" news channels and newspapers...

I hope some sense prevails among those who still have the power to stop him because the US is approaching a big black hole which will be hard to climb out of again. With the courts stuffed with his appointees, most IG replaced with people loyal to him and a senate who are more loyal to to Trump than the country and people they have taken an oath to serve, this is getting into dangerous territory-
 
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superchuck500

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If he succeed with this, then his next targets will be "biased" news channels and newspapers...

I hope some sense prevails among those who still have the power to stop him because the US is approaching a big black hole which will be hard to climb out of again. With the courts stuffed with his appointees, most IG replaced with people loyal to him and a senate who are more loyal to to Trump than the country and people they have taken an oath to serve, this is getting into dangerous territory-
I agree in concept, but I think the two most likely federal districts where the injunction action will be filed are the Northern District of California and the District for the District of Columbia. The ND Cal. has zero Trump-appointees, and while the DDC has four (out of 15) Trump appointees, three of them were considered non-controversial and confirmed by large majorities in the Senate (meaning most Democrats also confirmed).

More legal analysis will be needed based on the actual points of the order, but I don't think the dynamics are such that we can presume this executive overreach will go unchecked.
 

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It's easy to say that but he's signing this executive order. He has vast power to use in retribution, even if it is on wholly inappropriate legal grounds . . . that hasn't stopped him in the past. Of course it is likely that the order will be enjoined quickly but we really don't know.
Yea, I definitely get that.

(Not directed at you) But let’s be real here, his free speech isn’t being stepped on. He can still say whatever he wants, the platform has just added a fact check to what, two tweets? Policy shouldn’t be based on hurt feelings.
 
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superchuck500

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Yea, I definitely get that.

(Not directed at you) But let’s be real here, his free speech isn’t being stepped on. He can still say whatever he wants, the platform has just added a fact check to what, two tweets? Policy shouldn’t be based on hurt feelings.
Yes, but there is a broader context. Trump (and other right-oriented populists) have been complaining of bias in social media for some time now. This will be applauded in those circles despite its obvious authoritarian origin and unconstitutionality. And as long as Trump is up for reelection, the response from the more traditional chamber-of-commerce Republicans (who should find this abhorrent) will be muted.
 

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Yes, but there is a broader context. Trump (and other right-oriented populists) have been complaining of bias in social media for some time now. This will be applauded in those circles despite its obvious authoritarian origin and unconstitutionality. And as long as Trump is up for reelection, the response from the more traditional chamber-of-commerce Republicans (who should find this abhorrent) will be muted.
Oh no, I absolutely understand this is more or less an optics thing.
 

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Between this kind of nonsense and accusing people he watches on his TV of murder, it's clear that Trump finally just got bored with COVID and moved on. Twitter, despite allowing Trump to send misinformation out on a daily basis to purportedly 75 million followers (even though many are fake), is So Unfair and needs to be dealt with via Executive Order. Just a continuation of the dumbest possible things being done in the dumbest possible times by the dumbest possible people. And if anyone disagrees with this statement I just made on this message board they are violating my constitutional rights so be warned.
 

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I am glad some liberals are now fully behind corporations having free-speech rights - even if they might not see their inconsistencies.
This is so ill-conceived that I doubt there will be any serious chance of it holding up if any action is attempted. But it is still very damaging and downright frightening.
 
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superchuck500

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I am glad some liberals are now fully behind corporations having free-speech rights - even if they might not see their inconsistencies.
This is so ill-conceived that I doubt there will be any serious chance of it holding up if any action is attempted. But it is still very damaging and downright frightening.
I'm seeing there might be a bright side . . . the Great MAGA Parler Migration is on!




 
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Yes, but there is a broader context. Trump (and other right-oriented populists) have been complaining of bias in social media for some time now. This will be applauded in those circles despite its obvious authoritarian origin and unconstitutionality. And as long as Trump is up for reelection, the response from the more traditional chamber-of-commerce Republicans (who should find this abhorrent) will be muted.
While that may be true....it also shows how insanely hypocritical Trump is.

Since his campaign he has, on a daily basis, railed against the fake news media. Now he's issuing an executive order in response to a social media platform trying to make sure that content is accurate.
 
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superchuck500

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While that may be true....it also shows how insanely hypocritical Trump is.

Since his campaign he has, on a daily basis, railed against the fake news media. Now he's issuing an executive order in response to a social media platform trying to make sure that content is accurate.
There's also some irony in the idea that if you remove the statutory "non-publisher" status for social media companies, they will have to police content far more actively than they do now. Tweets about Joe Scarborough killing someone, for example, would likely have to censored by any social media platform concerned about libel arising out of their status as a publisher.
 
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superchuck500

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Twitter search Parler. It's pretty amusing. "Come on guys, this place stinks - lets go somewhere else!"


 
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JimEverett

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There's also some irony in the idea that if you remove the statutory "non-publisher" status for social media companies, they will have to police content far more actively than they do now. Tweets about Joe Scarborough killing someone, for example, would likely have to censored by any social media platform concerned about libel arising out of their status as a publisher.
Right. But the obvious danger to free speech is the use of that threat to bully Twitter, since the social media companies would really be destroyed if all content was deemed to be "theirs"

And the real hypocrisy imo is criticizing the left for wanting to ban everything they disagree with and then doing this
 
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superchuck500

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Right. But the obvious danger to free speech is the use of that threat to bully Twitter, since the social media companies would really be destroyed if all content was deemed to be "theirs"
True dat.

At first blush, I think the statute is express - there's no real room for interpretation. At least not in any way that alters the primary concept that social media companies are not publishers of the content posted by others.
 

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It's easy to say that but he's signing this executive order. He has vast power to use in retribution, even if it is on wholly inappropriate legal grounds . . . that hasn't stopped him in the past. Of course it is likely that the order will be enjoined quickly but we really don't know.
If this is the case then I would recommend Twitter go silent for a month, and if possible until December 1
 

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True dat.

At first blush, I think the statute is express - there's no real room for interpretation. At least not in any way that alters the primary concept that social media companies are not publishers of the content posted by others.
yeah, I think any attempt at actual action would be swiftly stopped. But I think we all know Trump is doing it in an attempt to gain "leverage" or whatever in getting what he wants.
 

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