Trump's Social Media Executive Order Could Ruin Twitter and the Internet - 2020-05-28
Over the past week, the president of the United States has been in a protracted meltdown after Twitter appended one of his outrageously false missives with a meekly-worded notification to "get the facts."
On Thursday, the White House said, Donald Trump will fire back in what is essentially a deeply personal and petty fight with an executive order from the highest office in the land. The order, a draft of which was circulated on Wednesday night by content moderation expert Kate Klonick seeks to clarify section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to remove liability protection for digital communications services if they restrict content in a way that is "deceptive," "pretextual," inconsistent with the platform's terms of service, or if it has been done without adequate notice or explanation, or without a "meaningful opportunity to be heard."
Section 230 is a bedrock piece of internet legislation that allows service providers to engage in "Good Samaritan" blocking and screening of content that it deems to be lewd, harassing, or just distasteful in some way, even if it is constitutionally protected speech. As far as legislation goes, the first subsection of 230 is concise and powerful: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."