“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.