STATEMENT: NHMC STRONGLY OPPOSES A TRUMP ADMINISTRATION DRAFT EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT WOULD GIVE FEDERAL AGENCIES THE POWERTO POLICE ONLINE CONTENT

Photo courtesy of Washington Press
LOS ANGELES, CA — The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) strongly opposes a Trump Administration’s draft executive order, “Protecting Americans from Online Censorship,” which would give far-reaching powers to the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission to police online content and increase their powers to sue offending companies.

Under the current law, internet companies are not liable for most of their content that their users or third parties post on their platforms. The draft order, obtained by CNN, is still in the early stages. But if passed, it would threaten online speech and freedoms and First Amendment rights.

“This draft order is dangerous and outrageous because it would give the Trump administration the broad freedom of dictating and policing what speech is allowed on the internet,” said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

The draft order is a direct response to both President Trump’s and right-wing activists’ false claims of censorship and left-wing, systemic bias among social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, YouTube, Pinterest and other big tech companies. However, that argument is inaccurate because it is based on anecdotes, not data. Tech companies have insisted they are not pervaded by partisan bias, and emphasize that they have blocked content when it was deemed violent, hateful and offensive.

“It is imperative that we prevent violent acts like the massacres in El Paso and Dayton from happening again, but this plan is another way for Trump to retain and increase his power, and narrow protections given to social media platforms that he sees as too liberal. NHMC will vigorously support our civil rights allies to defeat this potential threat,” concluded Nogales.
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