«By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section1. Policy. Free speech is the bedrock of American democracy. Our Founding Fathers protected this sacred right with the First Amendment to the Constitution. The freedom to express and debate ideas is the foundation for all of our rights as a free people.
In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand pick the speech that Americans may access and convey on the internet. This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power. They cease functioning as passive bulletin boards, and ought to be viewed and treated as content creators.
The growth of online platforms in recent years raises important questions about applying the ideals of the First Amendment to modern communications technology. Today, many Americans follow the news, stay in touch with friends and family, and share their views on current events through social media and other online platforms. As a result, these platforms function in many ways as a 21st century equivalent of the public square.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube wield immense, if not unprecedented, power to shape the interpretation of public events; to censor, delete, or disappear information; and to control what people see or do not see.
As President, I have made clear my commitment to free and open debate on the internet. Such debate is just as important online as it is in our universities, our town halls, and our homes. It is essential to sustaining our democracy.
Online platforms are engaging in selective censorship that is harming our national discourse. Tens of thousands of Americans have reported, among other troubling behaviors, online platforms “flagging” content as inappropriate, even though it does not violate any stated terms of service; making unannounced and unexplained changes to company policies that have the effect of disfavoring certain viewpoints; and deleting content and entire accounts with no warning, no rationale, and no recourse. ….»
«US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order aimed at removing some of the legal protections given to social media platforms.
It gives regulators the power to pursue legal actions against firms such as Facebook and Twitter for the way they police content on their platforms.
President Trump accused social media platforms of having “unchecked power” while signing the order.
The order is expected to face legal challenges.
Legal experts says the US Congress or the court system must be involved to change the current legal understanding of protections for these platforms.
Mr Trump has regularly accused social media platforms of stifling or censoring conservative voices.
On Wednesday, Mr Trump accused Twitter of election interference, after it added fact-check links to two of his tweets.» [Bbc]