New York – The large US social networks, from Facebook to Twitter, which have grown up to now without regulatory restrictions, will be subject to the surveillance of two federal agencies, the FCC (the commission that oversees communications) and the FTC (responsible for incorrect or misleading commercial practices). , who are urged to broaden their range.
For two years Donald Trump has been threatening administrative interventionsversus Silicon Valley companies who have so far enjoyed absolute freedom. Before, they were protected by the immense popularity that made them untouchable. Then, when the mood of users changed, a divided Congress discussed and tried big tech leaders for years but was unable to set a workable law. So, furious because Twitter decided for the first time to submit a presidential post to fact checkingTrump started the attack using his presidential powers to modify the current system, based on the Communications Decency Act, a law of 1996. Last night, in flight on Air Force One, he announced to reporters the signing of an order social media executive.
And yesterday after a tense day, with many attempts to return the measure, the president signed an administrative act which for the first time places limits on digital giants, while the Minister of Justice, Barr, has also announced initiatives in the judicial and legislative sphere with the presentation of a proposal to Congress.
The most risky measure for large operators in the sector (Facebook, Twitter and Google, especially with YouTube) is the reduction in the protection contained in Section 230 of the 1996 law which considers social networks irresponsible for content posted by users. When they intervene on the content, Barr and Trump said, they act like other publishers, can no longer be entitled to that protection offered 25 years ago to newly born companies.
Trump’s order gives the FCC the power to determine whether these companies have behaved correctly (the law conditions immunity to their good faith) and, therefore, opens the way for an interpretation that leads to consider Twitter and the other in certain circumstances as publishers who publish content: with them legal obligations and the risk of facing legal action. The order, then, invites the FTC to investigate the social networks that Trump accuses of prejudice against conservative ideas, also pushes the Ministry of Justice to act together with the attorney generals of all the States of the Union and orders a revision (to resize it or delete it) of advertising made by federal bodies on platforms accused.
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