Following Twitter’s fact check of one of Trump’s Twitter posts, the president signed an executive order to start the process of curtailing the protections afforded social media sites. The statute under fire the Section 230 of the Consumer Decency Act, which provides sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and countless others immunity for posts by third parties. It also allows the social media entity to enforce rules of what can or can’t be posted.
Trump’s executive order directs the Department of Commerce to seek legislation through the Federal Communications Commission that would strike protections if the curating of the third party’s post was found to be done in bad faith. This threat of such law would likely be an incentive to not “fact check” or allow anything to be posted just to avoid cost of legal claims to defend, regardless of their merit.
If a court doesn’t strike down the Executive Order as a violation of the First Amendment or as an end-run around Congress, the rule-making process within the FCC could take up to a few years to materialize. The November election will likely dictate its fate.