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Executive order takes aim at social media companies


Earlier this week Twitter reddit a fact check label to to trump pose that made unsubstantiated claims about mail in voting trump responded with an executive order on Thursday that aims to curb some of the legal protections social media sites have regarding content my executive order calls for new regulations under section two thirty of the communications decency act to make it that social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield undeterred Twitter flagged a trump tweet on Friday for violating its rules against glorifying violence my guest is noted first amendment expert Eugene Volokh a professor at UCLA law school you can explain the liability protections that Twitter and other platforms get under section two thirty sure so let's say that somebody publishes something in a newspaper that libel I can do the newspaper and that's true even if it isn't a letter to the editor the newspaper liable as the publisher are things that it could know what someone live with me in a book store well in that kind of situation I couldn't sue the bookstore but it has certain protections treated in the distributor so I basically have to put on notice first but the book at live at the teller complied with me explain why that that point if the books to keep that up I can third question when somebody liable to me over the telephone even though they had back when their answering machine messages and outgoing and during wishing that people call the number they gave me something like a look about me you might call that a platform rather than a publisher distributor the telephone company is completely immune from liability likewise left the company live with me in email and night all up Google and say Gee email messages are being used to live only please cancel that account Google is also immune from liability and would be even in the absence of any federal statute so in nineteen ninety six Congress that that online service and content providers should be treated like like not like publishers like newspapers not like distributors like bookstores but kind of like the telephone company or any email they should be completely immune from liability from things other people that's why for example I can have comment on my blog without hearing that I could be shoot anytime somebody posts something presently liable to an account and that is true even in the online service or content provider does some screening either some screening with him after the fact removal so I'm going to be immune from liability for comment the people because even if I occasionally delete them comment that the car had the little girl personally insulting or for that matter I think they might be liable so then his Twitter within its rights to fact check trump posed with a link or even delete it you have to question one is to do with adding links perfect and that is your exercise the first amendment right Twitter speaking not Twitter blocking each responding to speak with a thought indubitably Twitter has a right to do then we'll have a right to do that even without federal section two thirty second question is what if Twitter delete that too is within its right under section two thirty it might also be part of the first amendment right you could argue that just like a newspaper has the right to refuse to publish something Twitter should have the right to delete things well that's a little bit of a closer call with me under section two thirty Twitter is indeed allowed to do that and what's more like there's some law out there that says service providers must be even handed in their actions with regard to post war cannot delete any posts even in the absence of section two thirty there wouldn't be any statute or the common law principle that requires Twitter to hold everything just like there's no rule that the bookstore after distribute every book that people ask it to district the border seems to be pushing the FCC to issue rules under section two thirty one of the things that is contemplated at least the draft that I have is actually having the secretary of commerce publication for rulemaking with the FTP asking that the entire property section two thirty in a way that limit service providers ability to block certain content it's not clear that the FTC has the regulatory authority to try to enter protection to thirty that way in any event it seems to me that the section it's pretty clear in allowing service providers to block whatever content they find objectionable so I don't think that that's going to go anywhere but at this point of course the call is to ask you to do something certainly the president is entitled to ask the FTC to do something the question is what can the FTC doing what we're in the midst of this on Wednesday the DC circuit court of appeals rejected claims that Twitter Facebook apple and Google conspired to suppress conservative views online tell us about that decision even in the apps section two thirty there's no legal rule that requires service providers to be air in what they allow and what they don't allow just like there's no legal rule that requires a bookstore to be even handed in the book by the seller that was the problem that the plaintiff there they claim to that social media companies generally we're discriminating against them because of their conservative political views but what about the family the person I am now that the court first amendment by the government it doesn't bind private social media company however important and powerful they might be second they said well this is a violation of antitrust law because there's this conspiracy when the court today no evidence of a conspiracy they've given no evidence of anti competitive agreements it's true that service providers do try to delete certain kinds of material that they find offensive but it doesn't show that that there is any violation the recursion was clearly correct in fact similar claims that's been brought before and been pretty much unanimously rejected by all the courts that have

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