Biden Just Rescinded A Key Trump Executive Order That Targets Online Censorship


OPINION | This article contains political comments that reflect the author’s opinion.

Joe Biden revoked another order from Trump that focused on online censorship, according to The Daily Wire.

The Executive Order has been implemented, but the Trump administration should hold large social media companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Google accountable for content responsible for posting on their platforms.

In Trump’s Executive Order 13925 it says: “An Internet provider is liable like any traditional editor and publisher who is not an online provider.”

Trump stated, “No provider or user of any interactive computer service will be liable for any action taken voluntarily in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user deems obscene, indecent, lascivious and filthy excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected. “

By using the term “otherwise objectionable”, the social media giants were given the opportunity to censor content that they describe as “otherwise objectionable”.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said, “Obviously, our ability to provide access to a wide variety of information is only possible due to an existing legal framework such as Section 230.”

“The United States passed Section 230 early in the history of the Internet and it was fundamental to US leadership in technology.”

“Section 230 protects the freedom to create and share content while supporting the ability of platforms and services of all sizes to responsibly handle harmful content.”

Trump’s Executive Order states: “Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have immense, if not unprecedented, power to shape the interpretation of public events. Censor, delete, or disappear information; and control what people see or don’t see. … ”

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“Section 230 (c) is designed to address early court rulings that if an online platform restricts access to some of the content posted by others, it becomes a” publisher “of all content posted on its website for such purposes to meet as slander. As indicated by the title of Section 230 (c), the provision provides “protection” with limited liability to a provider of an interactive computing service (e.g., an online platform) who “mercifully blocks” malicious content.

“In particular, Congress wanted to protect online platforms that were trying to protect minors from harmful content and ensure that such providers are not prevented from removing harmful material.”

“The provision should also promote the explicit vision of Congress that the Internet is a” forum for real diversity in political discourse “.

“The limited protection afforded by law should be construed with these purposes in mind. … ”

“In particular, sub-paragraph (c) (2) deals specifically with protection against” civil liability “and stipulates that an interactive computer service provider may not be held liable” based on “its decision in” good faith “to access content restrict who it is deemed “obscene, indecent, lascivious, filthy, overly violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable”.

“It is the policy of the United States to ensure that, to the extent permitted by law, this provision is not distorted in order to provide liability protection for online platforms that are far from acting in good faith for undesirable purposes Remove content – instead, take deceptive or feigned acts (often contrary to the stated terms of use) in order to suppress points of view with which you do not agree. … ”

From the Daily Wire:

Section 230 should not allow a handful of corporations to grow into titans who, under the guise of open discussion forums, control key avenues for our national discourse, and then grant these giants blanket immunity when they use their power to censor content and silence viewpoints, that they don’t like. If an interactive computer service provider removes or restricts access to content and its measures do not meet the criteria of sub-paragraph (c) (2) (A), it is editing. It is the policy of the United States that such provider duly lose the limited liability protection of sub-paragraph (c) (2) (A) and, like any traditional non-online publisher, be subject to liability.



Robert Dunfee