Here are the 3 things you should know right now about President Trump’s new executive order on social media.
“President Donald Trump will reportedly sign an executive order on Thursday pertaining to social media companies, according to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. […] Shortly after news broke that Trump would sign an executive order, the president tweeted: ‘Big Tech is doing everything in their very considerable power to CENSOR in advance of the 2020 Election. If that happens, we no longer have our freedom. I will never let it happen! They tried hard in 2016, and lost. Now they are going absolutely CRAZY. Stay Tuned!!!'” (Daily Wire)
President Trump is expected to announce and sign an executive order today that introduces new regulations on social media companies. Some news outlets reported they’ve seen a draft already. There’s no word yet on the time or precise content.
But here’s what you should know ahead of President Trump’s announcement…
(1) Tech platforms like Twitter have limited liability compared to publishers under what’s referred to as Section 230, which is really just a labeled section of the Communications Decency Act from 1996.
Basically (and remember: we’re not lawyers), they aren’t responsible for what their site users upload because they don’t have editorial control like a newspaper does. (The Federalist)
But President Trump is likely to argue that Twitter (and other social media platforms, we presume) have started to editorialize … which would mean they don’t get the same Section 230 protections.
As Sen. Josh Hawley — a long-time critic of tech companies — tweeted yesterday, “Yep. It’s pretty simple: if @Twitter and @Google and the rest are going to editorialize and censor and act like traditional publishers, they should be treated like traditional publishers and stop receiving the special carve out from the federal government in Section 230.”
(2) This was kicked off by Twitter “fact-checking” President Trump’s tweets this week about the potential for voter fraud in vote-by-mail elections. It’s the first time the company has ever done that.
And, as many commentators have noted, Twitter’s “fact check” was used to weigh in on a political debate, not provide a clearly established fact.
As The Daily Signal noted about the supposed fact check, “it’s simply not true that ‘mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud,’ or that Trump’s claim was ‘unsubstantiated.'”
(3) And on an interesting note, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has proactively tried to distance his company.
In an interview on Fox News last night, he said, “I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online. Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.” (National Review)
It’s worth noting that’s the perspective that seems like it would help Facebook keep its Section 230 protections.
Biden reported to have his VP pick by August 1.
“Former Vice President Joe Biden says he hopes to decide on a running mate by Aug. 1, about two weeks before the Democratic nominating convention in Milwaukee. Speaking at a digital fundraiser hosted by former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Biden said his campaign’s vice presidential committee has already interviewed the contenders on his shortlist.” (The Hill)
In a show of his commitment to govern by bureaucracy, Joe Biden is still waiting to announce his VP pick.
His advisory committee is waiting until July to give him names, and he just announced he “hopes” to have his pick in place by … August 1. That’s two weeks out from the rescheduled Democratic National Convention.
And, in the meantime, those theoretically on the short list keep getting themselves into political hot water, like Governor Whitmer’s bizarre “boat scandal” over Memorial Day weekend in which her husband allegedly asked for special treatment to get his boat out on the water.
Here’s what a Biden presidency could be like: “most expensive Democratic tax plan that we’ve seen from any Democratic candidate in recent history.”
“‘The truth is that Joe Biden, even though he’s portrayed as a moderate, is offering the most expensive Democratic tax plan that we’ve seen from any Democratic candidate in recent history,’ [CNBC reporter Robert] Frank said in an interview. ‘Hillary Clinton’s total plan was $1.5 trillion. Biden’s plan is $4 trillion.‘” (Washington Free Beacon)
At a time of widespread unemployment and economic uncertainty, Joe Biden has unveiled part of his campaign’s solution: taxes. A lot more taxes.
Despite his pledge not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 a year, his $4 trillion tax plan comes with some eye-popping increases, as the Washington Free Beacon reported, including:
- an increase to the capital gains tax “by almost 20 percentage points”
- an increase increase the corporate income tax rate by “a 7 percentage point increase”
In contrast, the American people have already seen the economic boom that followed President Trump’s historic tax reform.
Will there be a fight over the GOP platform at the Republican National Convention in August?
“A Kushner platform wouldn’t be like the 58-page tome that the GOP adopted as its platform four years ago. It wouldn’t be a single page, either. He reportedly envisions a statement of policy and principle that fits on a single index card and fits neatly in the front pockets of delegates.“ (Real Clear Politics)
Debates about a political party’s platforms are usually the stuff of inside baseball stories.
But occasionally they break through as major media events, like when the Democrats removed any mention of God from the party platform in 2012 — and only restored it after an ugly round of votes on the convention floor. (Fox News)
Now there are stories of a rift between Jared Kushner and conservatives in the Republican National Committee over the GOP platform.
Kushner — and, we presume, Team Trump — would reportedly like to condense the party platform to the size of a “single index card,” instead of the lengthy, multi-page document it is now.
But some party conservatives see that not as a marketing technique but a push to moderate the platform … and, despite assurances from President Trump’s allies, are said to be “preparing for a fight” on this issue at the convention.