Donald Trump has officially signed an executive order that targets social media companies. This order was announced just days after Twitter had fact-checked two of his tweets and calling them misleading.
According to CNN, Trump stated that the order is to “defend free speech from one of the gravest dangers it has faced in American history,” he continued. “A small handful of social media monopolies controls a vast portion of all public and private communications in the United States. They’ve had unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter, virtually any form of communication between private citizens and large public audiences.”
Although this order has been signed, legal experts have some concerns about it. Ron Wyden, the senator of Oregon said, “Trump is trying to steal for himself the power of the courts and Congress to rewrite decades of settled law. He decides what’s legal based on what’s in his interest.”
This executive order challenges the Communications Decency Act section 230. That particular section gives immunity to websites that curate and moderate their own platforms. Trump’s order argues that protection.
“In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick the speech that Americans may access and convey online. This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic.” The order also states, “When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power. They cease functioning as passive bulletin boards, and ought to be viewed and treated as content creators.”