What to know about social media apps in 2018
POLITICO is reporting that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest will each be subject to a review by the U.S. government this week, according to people familiar with the matter.
The review will look at whether social media platforms should be subject for regulation under the Communications Act of 1934, which the government says can regulate “any medium of communication” including “electronic communication devices, mobile phone networks, and other telecommunications devices.”
The review is likely to focus on the privacy and security of information that users upload to these platforms, which are currently regulated by a different federal law.
The law, Title II of the Communications Decency Act, also bars “unfair or deceptive conduct” by “any person or entity” and prohibits “commercial discrimination” by providers of communications services.
The new review comes after President Donald Trump recently signed a bill that was supposed to prohibit social media companies from receiving billions of dollars in government funding.
That bill, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, was passed in June, and it has since been blocked in the courts.
But, in June of this year, the Justice Department told the Supreme Court that it had no jurisdiction over whether social platforms had been violating the law.
On Friday, the president signed the bill into law, giving the administration sweeping powers to regulate the online behavior of users and providers.
The legislation also authorizes the Justice and Treasury Departments to investigate complaints about social networks and other platforms.
The Department of Homeland Security is also expected to review how social platforms and other companies handle user complaints.
The administration is also reportedly considering a ban on the “free speech zones” where social media sites and apps like Snapchat and Instagram are allowed to operate, a proposal that has been widely criticized by advocates of online freedom and privacy.