PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP IS TAKING NEW ACTION TO PROTECT AMERICANS’ RIGHTS TO FREE SPEECH ON SOCIAL MEDIA

“I have made clear my commitment to free and open debate on the internet.” – President Donald J. Trump

FIGHTING FOR FREE SPEECH: President Donald J. Trump is fighting back against the scourge of unaccountable and deceptive censorship of Americans online.

  • President Trump has issued an order to uphold free and open debate on online platforms.
  • The order calls for the start of a regulatory process to clarify the scope of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to ensure social media companies who purport to provide users a forum for free and open speech, but nonetheless engage in deceptive or pretextual censorship, will not be allowed to entitled to immunity for such actions.
    • Social media companies should not receive liability protections when they act as editors of content on their platform or take down lawful speech based on politics.
  • It also instructs the Federal Trade Commission to consider prohibiting social media companies from engaging in any deceptive acts or practices affecting commerce.
  • Federal agencies will review policies and procedures regarding taxpayer dollars that are going to online platforms that inappropriately restrict free speech.
  • Furthermore, the order establishes a working group to develop model legislation that States could adopt.

PROTECTING FREE PUBLIC DISCOURSE: Social media platforms now function as the modern equivalent of the public square.

  • In a country that has long valued freedom of expression, it is not acceptable for a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick speech that Americans may access and convey.
  • The idea that large, powerful social media companies have the ability to censor opinions with which they disagree is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic.
  • Americans all throughout the Nation have reported troubling behavior by platforms to censor speech, including deleting entire accounts with no warning, no rationale, and no recourse.
  • While online platforms denigrate our national discourse by disfavoring certain viewpoints, they are simultaneously profiting from disinformation spread by foreign governments.
    • Google, Facebook, and Twitter have all profited off the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to subjugate their people and spread misinformation around the world.
  • President Trump is committed to preserving the integrity and openness of our Nation’s discourse and upholding freedom of expression for all Americans.

SAFEGUARDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT: President Trump has already taken multiple actions to make sure Americans can engage in free expression.

  • Last year, the White House launched a Tech Bias Reporting tool to allow Americans to report incidents of online censorship – collecting 16,000 complaints in just weeks.
  • Also in 2019, President Trump held a social media summit at the White House, highlighting the valuable role that online journalists and influencers fulfill for our Nation.
  • The President has signed an Executive Order to protect the free speech rights of students on college campuses.
  • During his first year in office, the President signed an Executive Order upholding religious liberty and the right to engage in religious speech.
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