White House: Social Media Order is About Anti-Conservative Bias

White House press secretary Kayleigh NcEnany used some time at a Thursday (May 28) press conference to give journalists "the facts" about Twitter and other social media platforms, which she said were "targetting their bias against President Trump and conservatives online." 

That came in advance of the President's planned executive order on regulating social media, which McEnany said should be signed by 5 p.m. if all goes as planned.  

Currently, social media platforms are shielded from liability for their treatment of third-party speech, either removing it or leaving it up, thanks to Sec. 230 of the Communications Decency Act. But the White House is gunning for that and other shields, McEnany made clear. 

"There are various shields in place that essentially shield these social media companies and allow them to censor conservative users and we're are not able to see what happens behind those shields. That section was one of those. So, we are looking at ways to remove those shields to shed some light on what is happening and some of that decisionmaking behind the scenes."  

She said that if Twitter were to be judged by its top executives' own words, that bias would be an easy case to make. She cited Twitter's head of site integrity, who had tweeted that there were "actual Nazis in the White House," but no fact check label was put on that "outrageous, offensive and false claim," as there had been on the President's tweet about mail-in ballots being bogus and an effort to undermine his reelection. 

She called that fact check label on the President's tweet was a "false and inaccurate" fact check and called it "bias in action." 

She said that while Big Tech was "hastily eager" to censor the President, they were "a little reluctant" to label some of the misinformation that has been spread by China.  

Of the executive order she said: "No one believes in the First Amendment more than the President. The President will take action to insure that big tech does not stifle free speech and that the rights of all Americans to speak, tweet and post are protected." 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.