US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order targeting the legal protections that Internet companies use to protect themselves from liability for user-generated content.
The law, known as Section 230 of the Communications Density Act, is required of major social media companies such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
On Thursday night, the US president signed an executive order urging social media companies, among other things, to relinquish their legal right to control consumer content.
For example, many of Donald Trump's tweets from Twitter have been declared unverified, etc.
"This is a big day for social media and transparency," the US president said in a tweet after the signing.
Signing the executive order, President Donald Trump said: "The choice of Twitter for editorial decisions to edit, blacklist and shadow content should be pure and simple."
In these cases, Twitter becomes a point-of-view editor instead of a neutral public platform, and I think we can say the same about others like Google and Facebook.
Technology companies and Internet rights activists believe the executive order is against the spirit of the law, saying section 230 was designed to protect Internet companies.
So that they can avoid damages on the content hosted by their platform, while also having the option to change the content while avoiding the responsibility of making decisions.
Twitter has called the executive order "conservative and political thinking for historic legislation."
Facebook also said in a statement that "the company believes in protecting freedom of expression in its services, but also wants to protect its community from harmful content."
"Our policies regarding content are clear and implemented without a political point of view, our platform provides new ways to reach people with voice and institutions," Google said.
Damage to Section 230 could affect global leadership for the US economy and Internet freedom. "