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Discussion » Questions » Computers and the Internet » Trump is considering an Executive Order to regulate social media for political bias. How would this effect answerMug, its members, and JA?

Trump is considering an Executive Order to regulate social media for political bias. How would this effect answerMug, its members, and JA?

Trump wants to sign an executive order telling social media what it can and cannot post. How's that grab you?

Trump's repeated complaints about social media companies allegedly holding a bias against conservatives will result in some regulatory action.

The White House has been circulating a draft executive order called "Protecting Americans from Online Censorship" that'll attempt to force social media companies to act neutrally when curating user-generated content.

The current draft proposes opening the door for social media companies to face lawsuits if they delete or suppress content without notifying the user, or if it was done in an anti-competitive or deceptive way. The executive order proposes doing this by narrowing the legal protections internet companies receive under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which can shield them from liability concerning any objectionable content they host.

The executive orders would task the FCC with developing the regulations on how social media companies should moderate their content. The same order also calls on the FTC to investigate complaints made by the public about suspected violations.

Posted - August 13, 2019


  • 46202
    That's ridiculous.  It is out of context and it could never happen.  How would ANY ONE be able to control that and what happens to FREEDOM OF SPEECH?  OUT THE WINDOW?  NO.  Not happening no matter what TRUMP says.  THIS IS NOT 1984 and BIG BROTHER IS NOT WATCHING ME.

    If that happened, I would not be on here. PERIOD.  Because I would have to curb what I say about Donald TRUMP?  FK THAT.  TOTALLY.

    All it would do is encourage everyone to use the DARK WEB. SCREW AMERICA AND TRUMP.   This post was edited by WM BARR . =ABSOLUTE TRASH at August 13, 2019 6:55 PM MDT
      August 13, 2019 3:16 PM MDT

  • Do you doubt that he would like to?
      August 13, 2019 3:18 PM MDT

  • 46202
    No.  I also agree with your take here.  I think if he wins in 20/20, this and MORE will transpire.  We might as well just die now if that is all that is left of us.  Because if he should win, not only would it be hideous, but we would never be free of this reign ever again because everyone that comes after him will be richer and worse.  
      August 13, 2019 3:21 PM MDT

  • 7721
    You always have such a rosy, optimistic outlook. I love that about you!
      August 13, 2019 3:26 PM MDT

  • 46202
    There is not one person alive that would argue.  My 2 would spin it as the best future possible. Yeah.  When all our freedoms are removed, life will be so rosy.  Those of us that survive, that is.

    This post was edited by WM BARR . =ABSOLUTE TRASH at August 13, 2019 6:48 PM MDT
      August 13, 2019 3:35 PM MDT

  • 7862
    Wait... this from the guy who won the election through spamming people with anti-democrat and anti-Hillary Facebook ads, swaying the election through fear of the other party rather than confidence in him and his party? (Anyone who doesn't believe this is so, please watch "The Great Hack" and get back to me.) Ugh.

    That said, here's a quote from the story you linked:

    "According to CNN, the White House has been circulating a draft executive order called "Protecting Americans from Online Censorship" that'll attempt to force social media companies to act neutrally when curating user-generated content."

    So, basically, it's saying that social media companies cannot promote one political party over the other. IF something like that went through, it wouldn't impact us. I know some people feel like we're a left site, but we don't remove right content. We probably are more dominated by liberal/ dem content, but that's because people post it more, not because we've been removing conservative/ rep content. So, the law would be irrelevant to us because I actually do wholeheartedly believe we need to come together to discuss things. We need everyone here working together to reach middle ground. I would not want one voice silenced. Ever. Heck, I almost would welcome an investigation from a government agency over our moderation policies. LMAO Maybe that would settle the bias debate once and for all. LOL Probably not, but, hey, I can dream. 

    All that said, I think this is a horrible idea. Horrible. It's big brother. It's not the government's place to get involved. 

    I almost wonder if this is his way of psychologically manipulating the population into being divided again. Like the article said, most sites are mindful of bias and try to be neutral, so to make a big stink about something that we don't have any evidence is happening, let alone on a large scale... it's going to get people riled up. Well played, Trump. 
      August 13, 2019 3:38 PM MDT

  • 2853
    He's working it hard now. He has an election coming up and he's not faring well with his promises. 
    Despite the economy and jobs, he has an abysmal approval rating 
      August 13, 2019 6:57 PM MDT

  • 5487
    He has no authority here. Social media sites are not govt agencies, they are private industry, and it is their yard we users agree to play in.  

    I find the whole discussion incredibly hypocritical regardless, considering the unending hate, bigotry and political vendettas that pour daily from the President on the very sites he and his ilk are whining about. 
    You can’t make this stuff up.

    Perhaps soon, a govt bureaucracy will decide what is to be accorded the same respect on Social Media that Trump’s vitriolic screeds are. 

    When do they start passing out the armbands?  This post was edited by Don Barzini at August 14, 2019 8:20 AM MDT
      August 13, 2019 4:04 PM MDT

  • 4282

    1984 came and went - but it's here with us still in these insidious internet forms - the good and the bad almost inextricably mixed.
    Many of us are oblivious to how much data is collected about us and how it is used.

    Govts around the world are trying to create filters, blocks, protections of various sorts,
    but hackers will always be ahead of them and find ways around within seconds.
      August 15, 2019 1:54 AM MDT

  • 5621
      August 13, 2019 4:50 PM MDT

  • 5925
    I don't think Trump will be satisfied with just regulating the Internet he wants to control it and he could possibly do that by using Section 606 of the Communications Act of 1939. Section 606 gives a president the authority to seize control of communications facility if he declares there is a war or a threat of a war or a state of public peril. I included a link to more info. Cheers!
      August 13, 2019 6:19 PM MDT

  • 2853
    This is Trump desperate to maintain his position of power through a draconian form of the Fairness Doctrine that the FCC had in place for broadcasters. The irony is that conservatives championed by Reagan, abolished it in the mid 80's which allowed for right-wing media to flourish on radio and later on the likes of Fox News. Now, they want it back for the internet for the same reason that they removed it from broadcast media.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Trump bring in Ajit Pai precisely to get the government out of regulating the internet as a common carrier? This is yet another example of how conservatives reveal themselves as unprincipled power-hungry opportunists. 

    I'm also surprised that any conservative worth their weight in spit would support such an action given that that they want smaller government and less oversight.

    What this proves to me is that Republicans and conservatives who support these measures never cared about free speech, the US Constitution or the United States and perhaps, they should find another place to live because they are not welcome in MY country. 

    I cannot and will not accept anything from the mangy piece of garbage calling himself president.  If there was an uprising to overthrow the Trump presidency, I would fully support it if this dictator wants to pursue these types of measures

      August 13, 2019 6:55 PM MDT

  • 4282
    First Ammendment
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    If Trump tried it, many groups would coalesce to mount a historic court challenge - and they'd win.

    Trump can't bear the way the anti-Trumpers can freely converse and organise - but that's a necessary part of a democracy.

    But then, there have been phases when the Republicans had the louder voice on this board - and those were times when I tended to dip out. If I voiced my opinions back then, one or two members were apt to take verbal pot-shots at me. Not a pleasant experience.
    This is one reason why I think it's better to have civil discourse about issues. This post was edited by inky at August 15, 2019 4:37 AM MDT
      August 14, 2019 12:54 AM MDT

  • 6127
    I think we have already been through something similar. For many years, radio and TV stations (because they then used public airways) were not allowed to take sides. This was according to the Fairness Doctrine which was enforced by the FCC. It was eventually repealed in the 80's. I believe there is precedent for overruling any such regulation of social media.  
      August 14, 2019 3:51 AM MDT

  • 4556
    Radio and TV still use public airwaves.
    They are still not allowed to "take sides" - but all that means is they can't give free advertising to any candidate and not give it to another.
    They have ALWAYS had a news bias.  It just was more subtle, which (IMO) is far worse than blatant bias - as people are being influenced without being aware of it.

    Since 1969, court precedents are all in favor of allowing the FCC to implement a "fairness doctrine" (but not requiring it).
      August 14, 2019 7:41 AM MDT

  • 6127
    I should have said only used public airwaves at the time.  Cable and satellite changed that. And paid advertising cannot be offered to one candidate or party without making available to all.  Your link shows precedents from prior to the 1980's when opposition to the Fairness Doctrine was challenged and eventually repealed

    As to your comment on subtle bias, what I notice is the photos of the President that are used.  Some outlets choose photos that are flattering, other outlets choose those that make him look a little on the demented side.

    You have a fair point on subtle bias. But a downside of blatant bias is that people gravitate toward outlets that support their views and never see the other side at all and this contributes to divisiveness. I'm not making a case for either side.  This issue is a too complex for me to know  what should be done, if anything.
      August 14, 2019 8:40 AM MDT

  • 4556
    The Fairness Doctrine was repealed at the choice of government.
    The court cases didn't force the repeal - they actually confirm the government has the authority to impose such regulations on anyone using public airwaves.

    Of course, if a station is using the airwaves, cable, and internet streaming ... any such regulation would only apply the the airwaves broadcast.  Which is more than likely why the regulations were repealed.  
      August 14, 2019 9:27 AM MDT

  • 21916
    The social media sites must decide are they a neutral public forum (this gives them immunity from user posts...can still moderate on uniform rules but not on content opinion) or a publisher (they decide what is and is not allowed on their site and how it is presented) 

    They cannot be both.

    Youtube enables a user to use a site filter (supposed to block things like porn, cursing etc...Adultmug stuff) there is a user PragerU which post informational videos about economy, immigration, political issues....their videos are blocked if the user uses the filter. 
    There is a conservative comedian (not news person) who has been labeled by FB as fake news....he is not news. He si also on twitter and quite funny.

    FB removed my husband's account as a fake accout. He does not post on FB but using it for a religious ministry only. 

    It will not effect AnswerMug because no one's posts are deleted/edited based on their opinion.

    Social media giants have publically said they will not allow what happened in the 2016 election happen again. And now conservative voices are being silenced and censored. Surprised? I am not.
      August 14, 2019 7:27 AM MDT

  • 22863
    not sure
      August 16, 2019 3:17 PM MDT