An FCC commissioner slammed Trump's executive order on social media, calling it an attempt to turn the FCC into 'the President's speech police'

U.S. President Trump returns to Washington after travel to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at Joint Base Andrews in MarylandReuters
  • FCC commissioners are divided on President Donald Trump's executive order on social-media companies, which he signed Thursday afternoon.
  • Trump's executive order requests that the FCC reexamine a law that protects social-media companies like Facebook and Twitter from being held liable for the content of posts people make on their platforms.
  • Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, slammed the executive order, saying it "does not work" and urging lawmakers to "speak up for the First Amendment." Republican FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr took an opposing view, saying the proposal "makes sense."
  • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai did not take a stance, but said in a statement to Business Insider that the FCC "will carefully review" any petition it receives pursuant to the executive order.

President Donald Trump's executive order targeting social-media companies is already getting feedback from the Federal Communications Commission, with commissioners split along party lines over the proposal.

The executive order, signed Thursday afternoon, targets Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a foundational internet law that prevents websites from being held liable for users' posts on their platforms as long as they make an effort to remove illegal posts. Trump's executive order asks the FCC to examine removing such protections for companies, like Twitter, that moderate content in the wake of its recent decision to fact-check Trump's tweets that include false claims.

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, harshly criticized the order in a statement Thursday, framing it as a threat to free speech.Advertisement

"This does not work. Social media can be frustrating. But an Executive Order that would turn the Federal Communications Commission into the President's speech police is not the answer," she said. "It's time for those in Washington to speak up for the First Amendment. History won't be kind to silence."

Meanwhile, Republican FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr voiced support for the executive order in an interview with Yahoo Finance, saying that Section 230 should be reexamined, if not overhauled.

"I think given what we've seen over the last few weeks, it makes sense to let the public weigh in and say, 'Is that really what Congress meant when they passed and provided those special protections,'" Carr said.
Advertisement

Commissioner Mike O'Rielly, another Republican, said on Twitter that he sees both sides of the debate and urged his followers to take a "deep breath."

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai did not take a stance on the executive order. Pai said in a statement to Business Insider that the FCC "will carefully review" any petition filed to the agency pursuant to the executive order.Read the original article on Business Insider
{{}}