The law that protects social media outlets such as Twitter from lawsuits due to user content is likely to be revised on Thursday at the request of U.S. President Donald Trump. As a result, the platforms could be held liable for all user-posted material.
Earlier this week, Twitter tagged Trump tweets with a fact-checking warning after he claimed postal voting was extremely susceptible to fraud. In a “what you need to know” section under Trump’s tweet, Twitter states Trump “falsely claimed mail-in ballots would lead to ‘a Rigged Election’.”, followed by “Fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud.”
Trump then accused the platform of censorship. According to Trump, Twitter selectively flags opinions as incorrect using other media platforms that the president describes as anti-Trump. However, Twitter says it abides by its own established rules, which state that individuals may not use the platform to influence elections.
Revising social media protection
In the president’s plan, a section of the Communications Decency Act would be altered, which protects online platforms from prosecution if users post certain content. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has to consider whether the modification of certain content by social media would result in the removal of that protection. After all, the platform would demonstrate that it is capable of modifying posted content. In addition, a tool will be introduced that allows people to report online censorship, resulting in measures being taken against the platform.