Trump’s Order Ignites Overdue Debate On Big Tech Protections

Twitter by Mohamed Hassan is licensed under Pixabay Pixabay License
President Donald Trump took the fight directly to the social media giants when he signed an executive order regarding Section 230 — the part of the law that gives tech companies the ability to remove or block content on their platforms without being held liable for it.

The “Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship” directs federal agencies to re-examine the protections of Sec. 230 to ensure they are not being abused by “platforms that — far from acting in ‘good faith’ to remove objectionable content — instead engage in deceptive or pretextual actions (often contrary to their stated terms of service) to stifle viewpoints with which they disagree.”

Trump’s action immediately drew condemnation on the right from conservatives and libertarians, who said it was government overreach, regulating a private company and burning down free speech on the internet.

There is a lot of hyperbole and straw man arguments surrounding this debate, as well as legitimate concerns about free speech online. Here are a few things to consider.