Trump signs social media executive order to remove liability pro - FOX34 Lubbock

Trump signs social media executive order to remove liability protection

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Washington D.C. -

Two days after Twitter put fact checks under President Trump's tweets about mail-in ballots, he responded by signing an executive order aimed at social media companies.

"Therefore today I'm signing an executive order to protect and uphold the free speech and rights of the American people," President Trump said.

The president's order cuts funding for social media platforms and removes the liability shield they once received under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That's what allows unrestricted speech on the internet. It keeps platforms off the hook for the content that's put on them.

Lisa Low, with Texas Tech's College of Media and Communications, says one of the bigger issues is users seeing content that isn't news and thinking it is.

"How can they go about content regulation and achieve the goal of reducing harmful speech while preserving the right to free expression under the right of the first amendment," Low said.

Twitter reports it is trying to cut down on bots, while Facebook is using human eyes and algorithmic eyes to better fact check and prevent fake accounts from spreading misinformation. 

"I do not want either a human, algorithm or robot determining what I see online. It's up to me to determine what's fact and what's not fact. What I believe and what I want to share," Low said.

Platforms can censor their content, and Low says the removal of the liability shield will create a bigger question of how this will hold up in a court of law.

Twitter indicates it will continue to point out inaccurate tweets. CEO Jack Dorsey says that doesn't make it an "arbiter of truth", instead saying it connects dots for readers to decide for themselves.

President Trump said he fully expects a legal challenge. The White House plans to send Congress a proposal to either rewrite or revoke Section 230.

He has support from an unlikely corner, former Vice President Joe Biden. Back in January, he advocated for removing the liability shield. 4

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