President Donald Trump has long railed against social media platforms, claiming that companies like Facebook and Twitter are biased against conservatives.
Now, despite having no evidence to show such a bias exists, Trump is looking to implement rules that would affect content put out on such platforms in an effort to balance the perceived pro-liberal bias.
In a draft executive order, titled “Protecting Americans from Online Censorship,” the White House would “ask the Federal Communications Commission to develop regulations around how tech platforms take down or suppress content,” according to Quartz.
It would also call upon the Federal Trade Commission to apply the new rules to any investigations or lawsuits of social media companies.
Last month, the White House held a “social media summit,” where conservative voices came together to share stories of how they allegedly had personally been silenced by social media companies.
At the time, Trump said he would pursue “all regulatory and legislative solutions” to the seemingly made-up problem.
The belief that Facebook, Twitter and Google are suppressing conservative voices is common among American conservatives, but as Quartz noted, “there is basically no evidence of systematic ideological bias.”
CNN reported that the executive order, as it currently stands, “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.”
Free speech advocates immediately spoke out against the draft order. PEN America wrote on Twitter, regarding CNN’s report: “If this accurately reflects resulting EO, it's an anti-American edict that would empower FCC & FTC to be viewpoint-based arbiters of online speech. Thankfully, 1st Amendment forbids that. It's regrettable that this Administration doesn't seem to know that.”