Photo: Doug MIlls via Getty Images

President Donald Trump's executive order targeting social media companies, signed Thursday, calls on independent agencies, the Justice Department and states to carry out the new policy.

What it does: The president has framed the order as a bid to prevent online censorship, which he says disproportionately affects him and other conservatives. It aims to address the issue by doing the following:

  • Directs the Commerce Department to file a petition with the Federal Communications Commission to craft new regulations limiting the scope of protections provided to tech companies under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That measure, which hasn't previously fallen to the FCC to interpret or enforce, immunizes online platforms against liability for content their users post.
  • Asks the Federal Trade Commission, which polices unfair or deceptive acts, to take action against platforms whose content moderation practices restrict speech in ways that don't align with their publicly stated policies.
  • Directs the attorney general to create a working group to help states enforce laws prohibiting online platforms from engaging in deceptive or unfair practices.
  • Orders the attorney general to develop a proposal for federal legislation to promote the order's policy goals.

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Aug 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Most Americans think social media platforms censor political viewpoints

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Most Americans say it's very (37%) or somewhat (36%) likely that social media platforms intentionally censor political viewpoints that they find objectionable, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Why it matters: The survey shows that the concept of tech censorship, a political argument for the right, has turned into a mainstream belief.

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Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Amy Coney Barrett took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice at a White House ceremony Monday night, not long after the Senate voted to confirm her nomination to the high court in a 52-48 vote.

The state of play: Justice Clarence Thomas administered the oath. The Supreme Court wrote in a statement that Barrett will take the judicial oath on Tuesday, at which point she will be able to begin her work on the court.