President Trump is drafting executive order on social media’s censorship of conservatives

About three months ago, in May 2019, President Trump finally heeded the cries of conservative bloggers (including Fellowship of the Minds) and users of social media of being censored, blacklisted and abused by the tech giants. The White House created a webpage for us to relate our travails — as individuals, websites, and blogs.

The evidence that conservatives are being censored is overwhelming. See:

It is, of course, in President Trump’s self-interest to do something about this censorship. See “Insider Blows Whistle & Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent ‘Trump situation’ in 2020“.

In July, at a White House social media summit, President Trump decried the censorship and directed his administration to explore all “regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech and the free-speech rights of all Americans.” Last Tuesday, citing the case of a Google engineer who says he had been fired for his conservative views, Trump warned that he is “watching Google very closely.”

Now, it is reported that the Trump White House is preparing an executive order to address the anti-conservative bias of the tech giants.

Tech giants’ love-fest with Barack Obama

Politico reports, August 7, 2019, that according to a White House official and two other people familiar with the matter, the Trump White House is circulating drafts of a proposed executive order to address social media companies’ anti-conservative bias.

The unnamed White House official said: “If the internet is going to be presented as this egalitarian platform and most of Twitter is liberal cesspools of venom, then at least the president wants some fairness in the system. But look, we also think that social media plays a vital role. They have a vital role and an increasing responsibility to the culture that has helped make them so profitable and so prominent.”

The executive order, which deals with other topics besides tech bias, is still in the early drafting stages and is not expected to be issued imminently. None of the three individuals would describe the contents of the executive order or what penalties, if any, would be visited on companies deemed to be censoring political viewpoints. But its existence, and the deliberations surrounding it, are evidence that the Trump administration is taking a serious look at wielding the federal government’s power against Silicon Valley.

The Trump White House faces many obstacles in crafting a policy against the censorship:

  1. The federal government’s options on combating online bias are limited by the First Amendment. Before he left his job in May, John Morris, who handled internet policy issues at the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), said: “There’s very little in terms of direct regulation the federal government can do without congressional action, and frankly I think that’s a positive thing. Although the government may be able to support and assist online platforms’ efforts to reduce hate and violence online, the government should not try to impose speech regulations on private platforms. As politicians from both sides of the political spectrum have historically urged, the government should not be in the business of regulating speech.”
  2. Another obstacle is Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which both protects online platforms from liability for content their users post and empowers the companies to remove content without fear of liability. Section 230 has increasingly come under fire from lawmakers of both parties frustrated with tech companies’ content moderation practices.
  3. A crackdown on social media companies would involve at least four federal agencies: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),  Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Justice, and Department of Commerce. However:
    1. Although the Justice Department has announced a sweeping antitrust review of whether tech giants are harming competition or stifling innovation, antitrust cases have not traditionally been used as tools to address complaints about online speech.
    2. Republicans at the FCC and FTC already have said publicly that they don’t see a role for their agencies in policing companies’ online content:
      1. Republican FCC Commissioner and Trump appointee Brendan Carr tweeted: “Outsourcing censorship to the government is not just a bad idea, it would violate the First Amendment. I’m a no.”
      2. Republicans at the FTC, which punishes companies for unfair or deceptive acts, also have said they don’t see a role for the agency in policing allegations of social media bias. During an FTC oversight hearing in the Senate last year, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argued that a tech company could be considered “actively deceptive” if it appears to be a neutral public platform and then engages in censorship. But Republican FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips said the FTC’s antitrust and consumer protection authorities are “not authorities to police the First Amendment itself.”
  4. Conservatives, such as the Heritage Foundation, have also spent decades opposing any attempt to revive the FCC’s old Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to be balanced in their programming on controversial issues.

What the Trump White House can do:

  1. One potential approach could involve using the government’s leverage over federal contractors, a tactic the Obama administration used to advance LGBT rights via a 2014 executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Trump did just that last March when he signed an executive order to promote free speech on college campuses by requiring schools to agree to promote free inquiry (which they are already supposed to do, but many don’t) in order to receive federal research funding.
  2. The administration could have the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which handles communications policy, to convene interested parties to explore the issues.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Auntie LuluJackie PuppetTrailDustLophattSteven Broiles Recent comment authors
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Alma
Member
Alma

I want this executive order to be strictly enacted with no loopholes, and soon, I have been subjected to censorship for using what may be offensive language to others ie, sand fleas, rag heads. Many have gone in front of the cameras using offensive language and have made threats with bodily harm to the president and legislators namely Mitch McConnell, none have been questioned by the secret service neither being silenced by the media. I came to this country looking for freedom and will fight for my rights, I will not be silenced nor suppressed for speaking the truth. I’m… Read more »

Auntie Lulu
Guest
Auntie Lulu

Alma . . . God Bless you . . . you are evidently the “poster child” for what it means to be an “American.”

Goldbug
Guest
Goldbug

If people don’t already know who they’re voting for in 2020, they are brain dead and should NOT be voting at all. The candidates on the LEFT SIDE are fanatics and dangerous to our Republic. People who listen to CNN, MSNBC or the other far left networks are stupid and always will be stupid. The Department of Education is responsible for the dumbing down of our people. To hell with social media; they and the Department of Brainwashing and Propaganda are destroying our younger generations.

Auntie Lulu
Guest
Auntie Lulu

Goldbug . . . You are absolutely correct in those observations!

Steven Broiles
Member

I, for one, am not holding my breath. Trump has had two years to do something, including the obvious, and I am really frustrated because of it. We are in a spiritual war of good against evil, and Trump could have imitated Gen. Patton if he could not have imitated Christ: He knew who the enemy was getting into the 2016 campaign. I said it once and I’ll say it again: If Trump fails to take effective action against these Big Tech platforms, I will not vote for him. And if he delays long enough, he will likely lose next… Read more »

Jackie Puppet
Member

Well put, Steven. Trump had every chance to address this issue, and should’ve had a vote on it by last year – I don’t think the Deep State would’ve retaliated against him much if he got something passed (they’d save their battles with him over stuff they deem more important to them). This is one of my biggest frustrations with him.

Lophatt
Member
Lophatt

In a very “loose” form, television and radio stations used to have conditions on their licenses. The FCC issued them and could revoke them or issue fines for failure to preserve negative bias. Slick Willy issued an EO that essentially emasculated the “Fairness Doctrine” and applied some other propaganda concepts, previously limited to Europe and Asia to here. Obongo really got to carving. We have to remember that these “broadcasts” are our primary sources of information. The theory is that in order to judge how well the government is doing requires an unbiased view. Now that they are openly censoring… Read more »

Auntie Lulu
Guest
Auntie Lulu

Lophatt . . . That really is the very best idea anyone has suggested. When I look at the harm that the Clintons and Obongo have done to this nation, it cuts me to the quick.

TrailDust
Admin

Yes. This morning we heard that Mitch McConnell’s twitter account was shut down for posting incitements to violence. What was posted was video of a violent mob shouting death threats outside McConnell’s home.
The twist of justice we see in the tech giants must be addressed by executive power. If not, the tyranny that comes will choke out many freedoms we have taken for granted in America.

Jackie Puppet
Member

I heard it got re-opened recently

Auntie Lulu
Guest
Auntie Lulu

It certainly stretches my imagination that Twitter would lock any account due to reporting that an individual at the site of the NZ mosque shooting was caught “texting on his cellphone.” That seems like it is really truthful journalism. I certainly do hope that an Executive Order can be crafted that will bite these social media entities in the rump very soundly!

Alma
Member
Alma

Epstein hung himself ??? Found this am in cell.

Alma
Member
Alma

Another saga in the Clinton’s chronicles.

Jackie Puppet
Member

At least he wasn’t found with 2 bullets in the back of the head.