WILL “CENSORSHIP” CHANGE?
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 28, 2020) — During the 9:00 AM EDT hour, President Donald Trump tweeted, without further elaboration, that “This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!“
During his return flight from the NASA Space Center in Florida Wednesday evening, CBS News’s Mark Knoller reported that the White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said the president would be signing an executive order relating to alleged “censorship” of certain voices by social media on Thursday.
That development followed Trump’s warning, directed to Twitter “and their other compatriots” to “Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”
Trump’s ire at Twitter appears to have arisen as a result of the platform’s initiation of a “fact-checking” operation which it applied to two tweets Trump issued on Tuesday alleging that implementing mail-in voting on a large-scale in the United States would lead to significant election fraud.
Twitter’s fact-checker, Yoel Roth, a known anti–Trump personality, determined that Trump’s assertion was false, citing CNN and The Washington Post as his sources.
Fox News and several members of Congress have explained over the last two days that Congress has exempted social-media platforms from “liability for user content” because they are not “publishers.” Conversely, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and others have suggested that once a social-media outlet assumes journalistic activities such as “fact-checking,” it should lose that exemption.
According to The New York Times, “The Trump administration is preparing an executive order intended to curtail the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for what gets posted on their platforms, two senior administration officials said early Thursday.”
The protections are found in “Section 230” of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.
Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are three social-media giants which have faced scrutiny for alleged bias against “conservatives” and censorship of certain content. In some cases, lawsuits have been initiated.
YouTube is owned by Google, which has also been accused of biased search filtering in favor of Democrats.
Update, 3:26 PM EDT: at today’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Kelly McEnany said she expects the president to sign the executive order “before 5:00 PM” today. “It is still in the works, but we are getting closer,” she said in response to a reporter’s question.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.