What is Section 230? Why Donald Trump wants to terminate the legislation - and Diaper Don meme explained

In his latest Twitter outburst the outgoing president raised concerns over ‘National security’

Outgoing president Donald Trump continues to make waves on Twitter - this time by launching a scathing attack on the social media platform itself.

Trump claimed Twitter was “sending out totally false trends” before stating a passage of internet law - section 230 - should be terminated in the interests of “national security”.

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His latest outburst came in the wake of Twitter users making references to his appearance at the Thanksgiving press conference, using the #DiaperDon.

They drew attention to the smaller than usual desk he sat behind during his address, as well as the slightly more padded appearance of his trousers.

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What is section 230?

The law Trump was referring to was section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects internet platforms of third party content published on its sites.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving. (Pic: Getty)President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving. (Pic: Getty)
President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving. (Pic: Getty)

“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider,” the law states.

It has been integral to the rise of social media platforms over the years as it generally means the companies are exempt from any liability that may arise from content its users share on its site.

“If a news site falsely calls you a swindler, you can sue the publisher for libel. But if someone posts that on Facebook, you can't sue the company - just the person who posted it,” the Daily Mail reports.

The section of law also allows post moderation of content, meaning the platform’s company can remove posts that breach its own standards so long as it is acting in good faith.

Why does Trump want section 230 “terminated”?

Trump, in this instance, claimed “fake news media” was concentrating on “negative stuff” and not what was really going on in the world.

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He didn’t react favourably to #DiaperDon and let it be known through a series of posts on Twitter - the very platform he was criticising.

He said: “I gave a long news conference today after wishing the military a Happy Thanksgiving, & realized once again that the Fake News Media coordinates so that the real message of such a conference never gets out. Primary point made was that the 2020 Election was RIGGED, and that I WON!”

And, as #DiaperDon was on the rise through Twitter’s trending ranks, Trump followed it up voicing his disapproval.

He wrote: “Twitter is sending out totally false “Trends” that have absolutely nothing to do with what is really trending in the world. They make it up, and only negative “stuff”. Same thing will happen to Twitter as is happening to @FoxNews daytime. Also, big Conservative discrimination!”

He then called for the removal of section 230, posting: “For purposes of National Security, Section 230 must be immediately terminated!!!”