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President Trump signs social media executive order that calls for removal of liability protections over ‘censoring’

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, Flanked by Attorney General Bill Barr, President Trump signed an executive order in the Oval Office on Thursday that calls for new regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) to remove statutory liability protections and cut federal funding for tech companies that engage in censorship and political conduct.

The president’s order came just two days after Twitter took the unprecedented step of slapping a “misleading” warning label on two of Trump’s tweets concerning the fraud risks of nationwide mail-in balloting. The move immediately backfired: Experts disputed that Trump’s tweet was actually misleading, in part because mail-in balloting has been linked to ongoing fraud; Twitter’s fact-check itself contained false statements; and Twitter failed to apply the standard of review to other users. ( https://theridgewoodblog.net/vote-by-mail-19-of-votes-in-paterson-city-council-election-are-disqualified/ )

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-preventing-online-censorship/

“My executive order calls for new regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it so that social media companies that engage in censoring any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield,” the president said.

The CDA, which was drafted in the Internet’s early stages to guard against offensive material while also encouraging an open Internet, states: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider. … No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of … any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”

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