Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Would Turn FCC Into ‘President’s Speech Police,’ Commissioner Says

The order is expected to be signed by Trump later on Thursday

Last Updated: May 28, 2020 @ 11:10 AM

A commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday criticized President Donald Trump’s planned executive order on social media, saying any attempt to turn the Federal Communications Commission into the “President’s speech police” is “not the answer.”

“This does not work. Social media can be frustrating. But an executive order that would turn the Federal Communications Commission into the President’s speech police is not the answer,” Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.

“It’s time for those in Washington to speak up for the First Amendment,” added Rosenworcel, a Democrat first appointed to the FCC in 2012. “History won’t be kind to silence.”

According to unnamed officials speaking to the Washington Post, the order would seek to roll back legal protections for social media companies regarding the content that is posted on their respective platforms by reinterpreting Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

Currently, the law states that social media companies shouldn’t be “treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” In short, the law has been interpreted to protect platforms like Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter from being sued over what their users post on their platforms.

Trump’s expected order, which was still in draft stages early Thursday, was expected to order the Commerce Department to reinterpret Section 230 and ask the FCC to investigate social media companies for political bias and whether they are neutral when moderating content, according to the Post.

The expected order comes two days after Twitter attached a fact-check notification — for the first time — to the president’s tweets that contained false claims about mail-in ballots. Trump then accused the company of “interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election” and “stifling” his free speech, despite the fact that he was able to make those comments on Twitter.

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