News & Politics

Trump to Sign Executive Order Targeting Social Media Bias

President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters during an event on protecting seniors with diabetes in the Rose Garden White House, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Wednesday night that Donald Trump would sign an executive order on Thursday that will target social media companies.

The president is currently feuding with Twitter because the company added “fact-check” warnings to his tweets. He tweeted out an ominous threat to all social media companies.

Regardless, Trump will apparently target a 1996 law that limited the liability of social media companies. The companies make billions off of users’ posts, videos, and pictures while being protected from most lawsuits.  Trump’s threat could seriously hurt the bottom lines of these companies.

Politico:

“These platforms act like they are potted plants when [in reality] they are curators of user experiences, i.e. the man behind the curtain for everything we can see or hear,” an administration official familiar with the issue said Wednesday night. The person said the order, which was described as broad and high level, would address complaints that the online platforms are deceiving people by picking and choosing what content to allow or block instead of acting as politically neutral platforms or moderators.

Exactly. I don’t care if Twitter or Facebook has a liberal bias. I care that they pretend they don’t. If social media really wants a “level playing field” while maintaining their freedom to censor, they should make known to the world their political bias against Republicans and the right, and support for Democrats and the left.

Is it really that hard for them to do?

Any attempt to go after the tech companies through regulations could face serious obstacles, however. The president’s own regulators have shown little appetite in the past for taking on scrutiny of tweets and Facebook posts, and federal courts have ruled as recently as Wednesday morning that social media companies are private entities with the legal right to police content on their sites.

Yes, social media companies are privately owned and have a perfect right to censor viewpoints they disagree with — just like the right has a perfect right to call them out on it without whining from left-wing outlets that conservatives are trying to “censor” the companies.

Taking away social media platforms’ liability protections is not censorship. Nor is it necessarily punishment. But it would “level the playing field” by altering the definition of what’s “objectionable.”

When a private company with tens of millions of customers labels a politician’s views as untrue or needing “fact check,” that’s akin to a political endorsement of his opponent.

If Twitter and Facebook examined the content of pro-Biden left-wing posts with half the scrutiny they give the right, they’d be slapping “fact-check” labels on a lot of it. Talking points are not truth — from either side. And acting as speech police will now apparently cost them.