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White House proposal would have FCC and FTC police alleged social media censorship

DunDunDunpachi

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Who will blink?

A draft executive order from the White House could put the Federal Communications Commission in charge of shaping how Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and other large tech companies curate what appears on their websites, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.
The draft order, a summary of which was obtained by CNN, calls for the FCC to develop new regulations clarifying how and when the law protects social media websites when they decide to remove or suppress content on their platforms. Although still in its early stages and subject to change, the Trump administration's draft order also calls for the Federal Trade Commission to take those new policies into account when it investigates or files lawsuits against misbehaving companies.

If put into effect, the order would reflect a significant escalation by President Trump in his frequent attacks against social media companies over an alleged but unproven systemic bias against conservatives by technology platforms. And it could lead to a significant reinterpretation of a law that, its authors have insisted, was meant to give tech companies broad freedom to handle content as they see fit.
According to the summary seen by CNN, the draft executive order currently carries the title "Protecting Americans from Online Censorship." It claims that the White House has received more than 15,000 anecdotal complaints of social media platforms censoring American political discourse, the summary indicates. The Trump administration, in the draft order, will offer to share the complaints it's received with the FTC.
In May, the White House launched a website inviting consumers to report complaints of alleged partisan bias by social media companies.
The FTC will also be asked to open a public complaint docket, according to the summary, and to work with the FCC to develop a report investigating how tech companies curate their platforms and whether they do so in neutral ways. Companies whose monthly user base accounts for one-eighth of the U.S. population or more could find themselves facing scrutiny, the summary said, including but not limited to Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat.

The Trump administration's proposal seeks to significantly narrow the protections afforded to companies under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

---

As many on GAF have predicted in past months, Section 230 is getting a second look. Will tech giants cut a deal? Will Trump actually go through with this? Will it be fought in court?

Interesting times!
 
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KINGMOKU

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May 16, 2005
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If tech companies want to be publishers and not "town squares", then remove their perks. They've had their cake and eaten it for too long.
This is at the heart of it. For those who would cry about this, remember, these companies enjoy protections for not doing, What they are doing.

This is all very simple, and these social media companies absolutely do not want those protections removed. The liability would be absolutely insane.
 

pennythots

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May 14, 2019
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there is something super weird about thinking of facebook and the like as integral to our lives as the local water company. I'm not arguing against it but it's more about recognizing the elephant in the room and it unnerves me that the Internet is this pandora's box that will never be closed.
 

Joe T.

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This is a discussion that very much needs to happen ASAP because as far as I can tell none of the social media platforms have done anything to address the highly questionable suspensions/bans, the Mitch McConnell case being the latest example. Suspending a senator for highlighting a threat made towards him in front of his home while doing next to nothing to mitigate the pervasive hate flowing in all directions just doesn't make any sense.

According to Politico earlier today:
TODAY: WHITE HOUSE ROUNDTABLE — The White House is bringing in internet and technology companies today for a discussion with senior administration officials on how to address violent online extremism following the recent mass shootings in Ohio and Texas. While the guest list isn’t entirely clear yet, we’re anticipating representatives of the major tech company D.C. offices well as the Internet Association. (President Donald Trump, however, is not expected to be there for the staff-level meeting, per a White House official. He’s scheduled to be in the Hamptons for a pair of fundraisers.)

What I found interesting was that a Justice Democrat supported that roundtable:
— One show of support: Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), whose district includes a slice of Silicon Valley, said he supports the roundtable. “From extremist ideology, to copycat manifestos inspired by the Christchurch massacre, to secret hate groups by border patrol agents, online extremism is fanning the flames of hatred and violence across our nation and the world,” he said. “We need better solutions to remove any content that incites violence proactively while recognizing and protecting First Amendment rights.”
 

#Phonepunk#

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After hearing about how Russia stole the election via social media for years, yeah, it makes sense for those spheres to be regulated. So yeah isn’t this exactly what people have been begging for for years now? Save us from the divisive Russians?

The news started reporting tweets on air 10 years ago, it’s time to stop pretending these are private platforms
 
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danielberg

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"alleged but unproven"
What? Was the for at least 3 years, 24/7 globally spread democrat manufactured russian collusion conspiracy to smear half the country over media and social media too subtle?
Fuck em, fuck em all and hard.
 
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HeresJohnny

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I've heard enough reports of politically one-sided censorship occurring on the part of these companies to believe it's time to do something about them. Hell, Mitch McConnell's account got suspended for threats just for reposting a video made against him. It's fucking ridiculous.
 

danielberg

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I've heard enough reports of politically one-sided censorship occurring on the part of these companies to believe it's time to do something about them. Hell, Mitch McConnell's account got suspended for threats just for reposting a video made against him. It's fucking ridiculous.
while at the same time #massacremitch was allowed to trend by twitter.
 

Stilton Disco

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there is something super weird about thinking of facebook and the like as integral to our lives as the local water company. I'm not arguing against it but it's more about recognizing the elephant in the room and it unnerves me that the Internet is this pandora's box that will never be closed.
I've been saying for years that the theory of the 'Technological Singularity' focuses way too much on the fantasy of AI's, and completely missed the fact that the internet itself was one, with social media being a massive part of that.

No one foresaw just what an impact everyone constantly being connect like we are would have on the world, on our economies, politics, religions, children and our very minds. It's given socialism a way of spreading like a virus, made racism acceptable, given relationships and health huge problems we can't overcome, ruined our attention spans, made us narcissists and easy prey to sexual predators, normalised extreme views and made all our most private information a commodity that we give away for free to massive parasitic companies in exchange for just using their webpages.

The internet changed the world in a horrific manner that we were completely unaware of and unprepared for. It's kind of terrifying when you take a step back and compare what we're like today to just 30 years
 

llien

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De-monetising the "change my mind" conservative guy. ("shut up, fucking conservative")
Facebook stating that threats are OK, if they are against "bad people". ("you thought we'd ban liberals? Ha!")
Google banning lawyers pro free speech clip, dubbing it political ad for.. Trump.

Full swing brainstorming at headquarters of our Californian Overlords, on how to change the systems, so that on one hand they are still functional, and they get clicks, but on the other "wrong" opinions are not promoted.

Something has to be done rather soon, else it might be too late.

...over an alleged but unproven systemic bias against conservatives by technology platforms...
Yay.
 
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Shifty.

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alleged but unproven systemic bias against conservatives
Funny, I'm sure I saw Twitter's global lead for legal, policy, trust and safety get put on the back foot and openly admit that their moderation policy fails to properly evaluate the conservative viewpoint when quizzed on it by Tim Pool and Joe Rogan.

Allegedly :unsure:
 

Super Mario

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Needs to go deeper. Need to get the political bias out of "news" organizations or else they should rename themselves to political opinion companies (seriously). This would be a great thing too. Of course the left will oppose this gestapo measure
 

Trojita

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You don't want this. The bill will end up being the patriot act of messing up the internet.
 
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Capitalism is supposed to allow conservative users a choice of different social media/internet search engine platforms if they are being silenced or discriminated against using existing platforms. This isn't really an option now. Maybe these companies should be considered monopolies or something?
 
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daveonezero

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Agree except I’d say intelligence has long been involved with the internet, since the start, and that it IS a wasteland
Well it is completely dysfunctional. I was more just saying it would become a wasteland as in it will be empty and no real person will be on it. But yes you are right intelligence has been there since the beginning. The internet was never made to function as a private network of individuals.

Capitalism is supposed to allow conservative users a choice of different social media/internet search engine platforms if they are being silenced or discriminated against using existing platforms. This isn't really an option now. Maybe these companies should be considered monopolies or something?
Capitalism also means no government interference. There are options that exist that would be free from prying eyes but it is again just more of a weakness of the internet itself and how it works that allows centralized powers to suck up all the user data.

There are projects that are being worked on that will bypass all this but nothing is ready yet. There isn't a way to stream videos and do all the useless shit everyone uses the internet for.
 
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Aurelian

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This is not a good thing. Just make it so they can't ban legal speech.
This is what I don't think some people here understand. This change wouldn't be about levelling the playing field; it'd be about giving the FCC the power to decide what speech sites must carry. And that would mean that the rules could change based on whoever's in charge. It only sounds good to American conservatives right now because they have the presidency and the FCC; they'd panic if they realized this let the left enshrine its own content principles in regulations once there's a Democrat in the White House.
 

PkunkFury

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Capitalism is supposed to allow conservative users a choice of different social media/internet search engine platforms if they are being silenced or discriminated against using existing platforms. This isn't really an option now. Maybe these companies should be considered monopolies or something?
here, knock yourself out: https://searchconservative.com/

no, these companies are not Monopolies