Trump: Drafting Regulation for Social Media


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.

Waaaait a minute. Trump basically wants to dictate what private companies allow or don’t allow speech wise on their own platforms? How would this work? I realize the aim here is if a conservative feels their speech is being suppressed by a PRIVATE company, they can hit back, but what about conservative social media platforms like RO? Could liberals make official complaints and bring the FCC crashing down on conservatives? Didn’t conservatives fight super hard to get rid of internet regulations against private ISPs, but now Trump wants to use the FCC to have the government moderate a different set of private companies? There are so many holes here, it sounds like it’s gonna be a giant mess.


In case you have not noticed, you could fit our current active membership in a phone booth. Conservatives don’t have much clout in the main stream Internet aside from Trump.


It was just a close to home example, there are much more popular sites than RO that could be effected.


It already is.

I’m not ready to choose a side on this (root for injuries, maybe?) so don’t read into this post anything except the words.

What makes internet service different from any other utility? How much of it was paid for (by directly contract or subsidy) by the federal government? State’s and municipal? Do not the transmission lines make use of publicly owned rights of way?

Who owns the data as it is being transmitted?
Who has the moral authority to act as “gatekeeper” to the public dissemination of non -sensitive information?

I reckon there’s 'bout a bazillion questions that need answering.

I’m going to follow this subject with interest…


I’m with you; it’s a knife that can cut both ways. In the end, I don’t believe there’s going to be any kind of worldly solution.


I’m beginning to believe that President Trump is not as “conservative” as I’d wish him to be. He signed into law a “budget” that was FAR from conservative. I get that he did it in order to get what he wanted for the military, but still… NOW he’s considering this and also that idiotic “red flag” nonsense and even a ban on “assault weapons.” Hardly what I’d consider “conservative” positions.


Far from it. Considering the alternatives, though, I’m grateful that we have him. He is, I believe, trying to be as close to the president his supporters elected him to be as possible. It could have been the Hildabeast…


The interesting thing is, these questions where pretty much all shot down during the net neutrality debate that actually axed net neutrality. It was made VERY clear that private ISP companies should have control over the data that end users (us) request/send and your above questions mean nothing. Your questions have already been answered. The Internet is not a public utility. What the public put into the ISP’s means nothing to the public. ISP’s own the data. With Trump, the Govt acts as the moral gatekeeper for political speech that private companies will need to adhere to.

Now that net neutrality is dead (and companies have in fact started taking advantage of that fact slowly as warnings have slowly started to come about), Trump pulls a 180 and is ready to regulate the speech of these same companies, in-violation of the section 230 of the communications decency act AND the 1st Amendment, purely over political speech.

In other words, Trump put all the power into the ISP’s hands, just at the cost of their own free speech apparently.


Who is “their” in this case?


Private Companies, which social media platforms are.


So are traditional media companies, and their treatment of political discourse is regulated. They have to offer the same terms to both sides.


Do you feel that is being done?

Also, traditional media companies and social media platforms are inherently 2 very different kinds of companies… After all, traditional media companies produce their own content. Social media companies use their own users for content generation rather than the company itself. Thusly, Trumps regulations would not only be regulating what the social media companies wish to display, but also us. I mean, maybe conservatives would be OK with regulating the speech of liberals, but when liberals get in power, you ready for the same treatment?


No, both sides are not getting the same treartment. Conservative expression is deliberately suppressed. Just today facebook disappeared from my feed every post expressing suspicion that the Epstein SUICIDE might not be completely on the up and up. I bet you can still find all sorts of Russian collusion posts, though…


If they edit content in any way shape or firm, I fail to see how that distinction makes a difference.

Not what I’m after. I won’t speak for any body else.

We’re already getting that treatment. “Standards” are mutable and variably applicable. Right of center content creators have been routinely deplatformed for expressing the “wrong” opinions (Diamond and Silk, eg), to say nothing of the content that is suppressed. Meanwhile, leftist agitators are allowed to spew all sorts of violent rhetoric without consequence. I mean there are people literally advocating for the president to be assassinated, and that seems to be considered okay.

If the social media companies are not actual media companies, they are most definitely a “public accomodation”, and the same kind of rights of access laws should apply.


You don’t see a difference between editing a companies speech, and your own speech?


Also what I would not want, nor do I want liberals regulating Conservative speech.

Maybe to a certain extent, yes. The thing is though it’s a private company doing it because they want to send a particular message… and that’s their right. You can choose another company to spread your views if you want that is more in line with your own moral compass.

Once Trumps thing goes through, it won’t be private companies censoring you, it’ll be the government. Quite the difference. Sure you’ll have more recourse when Conservatives are in power, but you’ll have less recourse when liberals are.


Uh huh. Gay wedding cake. That is all.


I think this needs to be parsed; ISPs are who the internet neutrality debate has concerned itself with, but the companies we’re talking about now are edge service providers who don’t have infrastructure. They’re not responsible for transmitting packets.

Facebook and Twitter are not the same as Comcast or CenturyLink.


But it isn’t their speech being censored: its a particular subset of their users whose speech gets edited based on religious beliefs and political affiliation. IANAL, but I think that’s supposed to be a no-no.


And the case against Jack Phillips keeps getting shot down because it is a private company.


The liberal bastards want war, give it to them, good and hard. Make them live up to their own standards, or at least defend themselves for not.