President Biden has revoked former President Trump’s executive order that would have altered legal protections for social media platforms.
The order asked numerous agencies to rescind a section of the Communications Decency Act that prevents online services from having any legal responsibility for the third-party content on their platform.
Organizations challenged the executive order in court asking President Biden to cancel it because “it is a huge assault against free speech designed to harm platforms that fact-checked President Trump.”
It is not certain if Biden plans to take further action on the repeal of Section 230.
Biden’s move, which happened without getting much attention, signaled that the government is retreating from its attempt at supporting free speech online. Still, changing the measure might remain on the table, with Gina Raimondo, the Secretary of Commerce, saying during her confirmation hearings that she supports changes and that she would discuss them with Congress.
Trump’s order was given a year ago after tech platforms started labeling his posts as miss-information. When he signed his executive order, he told onlookers that this was being done to “defend free speech from the gravest threats it has faced in our nation’s history.”
The order put the pressure on the Federal Communications Commission to consider the scope of Section 230 and to transfer complaints about political bias to the FTC. The agency was also urged to investigate if the content-moderation actions used by tech platforms were in line with neutrality pledges.
Meanwhile, Trump remains banned from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Author: Blake Ambrose