WASHINGTON (PM) — Trump wants to do something most Twitter users could only fantasize about: giving the federal government authority to help him receive better post engagement.
A leaked draft of an executive order reviewed by CNN Business would allow the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) more widespread authority to control how social media websites like Facebook and Twitter govern and curate content on their platforms. While many have asked for improved management of social media companies, this executive order shows to be at least partly motivated by the nonexistent anti-conservative bias on social media — that Trump maintains exists despite a lack of evidence.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act shields companies from legal responsibility for content posted on their platforms, like hate speech, violence, and graphic images. That’s why social media companies are usually permitted to moderate themselves as long as they’re operating in “good faith.”
But the new executive order would put all of that content moderation under the FCC’s purview, CNN reports. The government agency would be able to remove a company’s legal immunity if it excludes or hides content without informing the poster. The FCC can also remove the “good faith” immunity if it decides a company is operating unreasonably or deceptively when hiding or removing content.
In theory, increased scrutiny over platforms that have been used to radicalize shooters, facilitate genocide, and disseminate misinformation sounds initially like a good idea. But tech experts advised CNN that this executive order will likely only impede the process of monitoring platforms or fail entirely.