Fitch to discuss online censorship with President Trump & AG Barr

This afternoon, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch is set to discuss online censorship with President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr along with a working group of several other state Attorneys General.

“I am very excited to have been invited by President Trump and AG Barr to join with fellow Attorneys General to ensure that the digital town square remains open and free to all people’s voices,” Fitch said. “I look forward to this meeting and to the work to come to fight online censorship.”

In a news release, Fitch explained how social media companies have been able to evade liability for content posted to their sites. 

“Social media companies have long used Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act to shield themselves from liability for content posted by third parties and to allow them to moderate and remove lawful content. In May, President Trump signed Executive Order 13925 specifically directed at combatting online platforms from censoring lawful speech based on political viewpoint.

The Executive Order documented that “[o]nline platforms are engaging in selective censorship that is harming our national discourse” and called on the federal government to take steps to “foster and protect diverse viewpoints in today’s digital communications environment where all Americans can and should have a voice.”

Fitch also noted that the Executive Order directed the U.S. Department of Justice to consult with State Attorneys General on legal resources at the state level, inducing consumer protection laws, to address abusive, unfair, and deceptive practices like speech censorship and content moderation, data tracking, and inconsistent application of terms of service.