Trump’s call for crackdown on Twitter and Facebook now on Ajit Pai’s desk

A computer keyboard with the word

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Peter Dazeley)

President Trump’s attempt to punish social-media websites for alleged anti-conservative bias moved ahead this week as his administration formally asked the Federal Communications Commission to initiate a rulemaking process.

Trump’s executive order in May instructed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to petition the FCC for new rules. The NTIA filed that petition with the FCC yesterday.

The petition’s summary quotes Ben Franklin as saying, “[w]hoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing the Freeness of Speech,” and claims that social-media websites like Facebook and Twitter are threatening free speech in the US. “[S]ocial media and its growing dominance present troubling questions on how to preserve First Amendment ideals and promote diversity of voices in modern communications technology,” the petition says. “Social media’s power stems in part from the legal immunities granted by the Communications Decency Act of 1996.”

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