US President Joe Biden recently cancelled an executive order issued by former President Donald Trump that called on government regulators to limit liability protections for social media firms, Reuters said.
Under current law, the companies are shielded from lawsuits over content posted on their respective platforms by users, and are allowed to take down objectionable posts like those which are obscene or promote violence.
Trump himself has been accused of using his social media accounts for promoting falsehoods, conspiracy theories, and violence. He remains banned from major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
According to Reuters, the Center for Democracy and Technology, which sued to block Trump’s order, applauded Biden’s decision, saying the order “was an attempt to use threats of retaliation to coerce social media companies into allowing disinformation and hateful speech to go unchecked.”
Trump’s rise to prominence as a presidential candidate in 2016 has been frequently attributed to his popularity on social media. But he turned on social media platforms as they began tagging his posts as misleading and/or inaccurate, culminating in his permanent ban after the shocking 6 January attacks on the US Capitol.
Facebook’s Oversight Board recently upheld Trump’s ban from the platform, but wants the company to come up with a consistent set of rules for bans that apply to all users, the BBC reported.