WASHINGTON, D.C. – The legal distinctions between forums and publishers is a large can of worms. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got out a big can opener earlier this week when he decided to assign a fact-check label to two of President Donald Trump’s recent tweets regarding mail-in ballots and fraud.
Naturally, Trump went in on Twitter and other Left-biased social media platforms who seem to simultaneously enjoy the legal benefits of being a a mere forum, or conduit, and the editorial discretion to employ vocal anti-Trump ‘fact-checkers’ to undermine the president’s tweets. Now it appears the president is preparing an executive order related to such political censorship and/or the legal framework that social media platforms exist under.
“President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order Thursday cracking down on online platforms such as Facebook, Google and Twitter, vowing “a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!”
The move comes days after Twitter began fact-checking some of his tweets.
The order would push the Federal Communications Commission to write rules on when and how platforms can remove content from their platform and still maintain liability protection granted them under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The law as it stands largely exempts those publications from being held liable for much of the content on their websites.
The working order, which cites Twitter by name, would encourage the Federal Trade Commission to take action against companies that engage in “deceptive” acts of communication. […]”
The liability and censorship issue has been a subject of debate for years now. It’s a tricky issue, fairness, because it’s definition depends on who is making the call. Jack Dorsey, the CEO/Founder of Twitter, thinks his fact-checking the president’s tweets was fair and is standing behind it. There’s been zero mention of fact-checking any other political tweeters.
Facebook Founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg asserted that he did not think the social platforms should engage in fact-checking political speech. Actually, the only ‘fair’ way to regulate such speech is to just let it fly.
But what was it that the president said that deserved a fact-check? It was about mail-in ballot fraud, and how the Left is pushing for more mail-in voting.
We in North Carolina certainly remember all the drama from Bladen County surrounding absentee ballot harvesting and fraud, but apparently the rest of the nation has forgotten that mail-in ballots are the preferred way for fraudsters to manipulate elections. When it could be connected to a Republican, it was national news every day; when a Republican is warning it’s a problem, it deserves a fact-check and feigned ignorance.
No matter the spark, this order very likely ignites the beginning of social media regulation, for better or worse. While some may welcome the back up in the fight against the Left-leaning tech giants, once the regulation begins it will be damn near impossible to stop.