White House Expected To Issue Executive Order Targeting Online Speech

BY Heather Greenfield
May 28, 2020

Washington – According to various news reports, President Trump is expected to issue an executive order seeking to roll back the liability protections that have allowed users to post content online. 

Reports of an executive order come days after Twitter applied a fact-check notice adjacent to accusations from President Trump via Twitter about alleged voter fraud.

Note: This release precedes publication of the Executive Order and relies upon informal accounts of its contents.  

Internet companies faced criticism after the last election over not doing more to remove fake news and misinformation campaigns by foreign actors and others. Even as digital services have continued to improve methods for identifying and removing material that violate terms of service, they have received criticism from policymakers of all political perspectives that these efforts do too much and too little.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has advocated against government censorship of the internet for more than 20 years. The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“Social media services are engines of free expression for all political identities, and Internet users, including the President, can choose from a variety of platforms to express their views. 

“All Americans should be concerned to find a U.S. president issuing executive orders in response to a company that challenges the veracity of his statements. Social media companies — and all Americans — have an inviolable right to comment on what our government says. Ultimately we have to ask: are we a nation that tolerates its President retaliating against private companies for questioning his words?  

“Retaliation against the private sector for fact-checking leadership is what we expect from foreign autocracies, not the United States.  If consistent with current reports, this order would be profoundly un-American and a blight on our free speech traditions.”

For media inquiries, please contact Heather Greenfield hgreenfield@ccianet.org

 

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