"On Monday, the Department of Commerce, as directed by President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship, filed a petition to clarify the scope of Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. The petition requests that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) clarify that Section 230 does not permit social media companies that alter or editorialize users’ speech to escape civil liability", the statement said.
The move comes after President Donald Trump repeatedly accused social media and internet firms of unfairly censoring conservative views.
In late May, Twitter for the first time flagged two of the president’s tweets on mail-in ballots for containing misleading information. The move provoked Trump, who has over 80 million followers, to lash out at the social media platform, accusing it of "interfering" in the 2020 election and curbing free speech.
Several days later, Trump's other tweet in which he warned that soldiers may open fire in case of looting in Minneapolis amid George Floyd protests, was also flagged by Twitter for breaching the rules on glorifying violence.
The escalated conflict with Twitter prompted Trump to sign an executive order that could open the door for federal regulators to fine online platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Google, for censoring online content.