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President Trump has signed an executive order on social media censorship. This move comes two days after Twitter included a “fact-check” notice on one of Trump’s tweets for the first time.
“We’re here today to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers,” Trump said from the Oval Office.
After his initial remarks, ABC News’ Jon Karl asked the president if he would consider deleting his Twitter account in response to what Trump called unfair treatment.
Trump responded that he would delete his Twitter if not for fake news, arguing that he uses his Twitter account to provide transparency where the media gets it wrong.
Trump’s order centers on repealing a current “shield” given to social platforms, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The law protects companies from being held liable for the publishing of third-party users. Trump argued that communications companies are expected to be fair in allowing users to post freely and that censorship does not fall within fair grounds. Repealing Section 230 would allow the government to hold social media companies accountable for unfair censorship.
The timeliness of this executive order is not impulsive. The order may come two days after Twitter’s fact-check notice, but censorship on social media platforms is no novel trend.
Renowned satire platform, The Babylon Bee, has been heckled many times by fact-checkers and social media bureaucracy. Even though the Bee is clearly branded as satire, their conservative angle has ushered in numerous allegations of misinformation and bias.
In an interview with Fox News, Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon snarkily remarked on the irony of the allegation:
“How funny is it that CNN is coming after us for spreading disinformation?”