Four of President Donald Trump’s executive orders have been quietly reversed by the new Biden administration on Friday.
The news was announced by the White House on late Friday and those media outlets who attempted to get any further comment and clarification were out of luck at the time, as the White House remained silent.
One of the four executive orders the former president had signed was called, Preventing Online Censorship.
The executive order came along – and perhaps “prophetically” – before the unprecedented wave of online censorship in the wake of the November 2020 US elections – and the political and physical turmoil during the long weeks the US was trying to count that vote, that culminated in the Capitol Hill protests in early January – but perhaps far more reaching decision by Twitter to ban the account of a sitting president.
The order the Biden administration has now annulled originates in May 2020, when several of Trump’s tweets got labeled as “misleading.”
The executive order at the time accused Twitter of “now” selectively slapping warning labels (meant to undermine authenticity, and ease of access to these tweets) as a reflection of the social media company’s own political bias.
The executive order also mentioned Twitter at the same time turning a blind eye to perpetrators of what many at this time already saw as a Russian collusion hoax, like Adam Schiff. His tweets never got flagged for political bias, the order read.
The order meant that the commerce secretary was to submit a petition to the Federal Communications Commission over social media companies’ practices, while the U.S. attorney general was asked to consider enforcing anti-censorship states laws.
According to the EFF, Biden’s move to revoke the order of his predecessor on this issue came after a letter from Rock The Vote, Voto Latino, Common Cause, Free Press, Decoding Democracy, and the Center for Democracy & Technology, who said the order was “a drastic assault on free speech designed to punish online platforms that fact-checked President Trump.”
These organizations also filed lawsuits against the Trump executive order – a case that now seems to be resolved with the Biden administration’s move.