US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order according to which some of the legal protections granted to social media companies will be removed.
Regulators have been given the right to pursue legal actions against social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter for the way they manage the content.
Social media platforms have been accused by Trump of having “unchecked power” while signing the order.
Donald Trump has accused social media companies of censoring consecutive voices.
Donald Trump spoke from the Oval Office before signing the order. He said that the decision has been taken to “defend free speech from one of the gravest dangers it has faced in American history.”
He said, “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.”
According to details, the order has been given to clarify the Communications Decency Act, a US law that provides legal protection to online companies in certain situations.
Under Section 230 of the law, social platforms are not usually liable for the content of the users’ posts, but they can engage “good-Samaritan blocking”, such as removing controversial content.
However, as per the new executive order, legal immunity is not applicable if a social network edits content posted by its users. Trump had called for legislation from Congress to change or remove section 230.
Other points in the executive order include:
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to spell out what type of content blocking will be considered deceptive, pretextual or inconsistent with a service provider’s terms and conditions
- A review of government advertising on social-media sites and whether those platforms impose viewpoint-based restrictions
- The re-establishment of the White House “tech bias reporting tool” that lets citizens report unfair treatment by social networks