A Washington-based advocacy group on Tuesday asked a U.S. judge to invalidate an executive order on social media companies President Donald Trump signed last week.
The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) claimed in their lawsuit that the directive violates the First Amendment.
The executive order seeks a stricter interpretation of 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives social media companies immunity for content posted on their platforms by third-parties, especially the part that allows them to make “good faith” efforts to moderate content.
The president stated that online platforms engage in what he called “selective censorship,” including blacklisting and shadow banning – the act of blocking or partially
blocking a user or their content from an online community so that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned.
For instance, shadow banned comments posted to a blog or media site will not be visible to other persons accessing that site from their computers.
Trump had earlier engaged in a feud with Twitter for tagging his tweets about claims of fraud regarding mail-in voting with a warning prompting readers to fact-check the posts.
“The Executive Order is designed to deter social media services from fighting misinformation, voter suppression, and the stoking of violence on their platforms,” CDT president and CEO Alexandra Givens said in a statement.
CDT’s donors include Alphabet’s Google, Facebook Inc, Apple and Microsoft, according to the Capital Research Center, a right-leaning non-profit think tank.