President Donald Trump on Christmas Eve repeated his concerns over Big Tech censorship a day after he vetoed a defense-spending bill over Congress’s failure to remove liability protections for Silicon Valley’s social media companies.
“Twitter is going wild with their flags, trying hard to suppress even the truth. Just shows how dangerous they are, purposely stifling free speech. Very dangerous for our Country. Does Congress know that this is how Communism starts?” Trump said in a Twitter post on Thursday night.
“Cancel Culture at its worst. End Section 230!” he said.
Trump and his administration have repeatedly underscored the risks of unbalanced policing of user content on social media platforms, claiming that the companies are engaging in conduct that limits conservative viewpoints and stifles free speech. The president and the Justice Department have urged Congress to roll back legal protections under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act for companies that have engaged in censoring or political conduct.
Section 230 largely exempts online platforms from liability for content posted by their users, although they can be held liable for content that violates anti-sex trafficking or intellectual property laws.
The law allows companies to block or screen content “in good faith” if they consider it “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.” The protections, however, weren’t intended to apply to services that act more like publishers than online platforms, outgoing Attorney General William Barr said in a speech in May.
Leading up to and after the November general election, Twitter ramped up its policing of posts by the president and other users over claims of voter fraud. In a Nov. 12 update, the social media company said it had applied labels, warnings, and other restrictions to about 300,000 posts from Oct. 27 to Nov. 11 for content that they classified as “disputed and potentially misleading.” This number represents about 0.2 percent of all U. S. election-related posts published in that time period.
A series of Trump’s posts that argued that there has been voter fraud have been labeled with: “This claim about election fraud is disputed.” For example, Twitter labeled… (Read more)