Social Media

Trump signs executive order on social media cos

Bloomberg May 29 | Updated on May 29, 2020 Published on May 29, 2020

US President Donald Trump holds up a front page of the ‘New York Post’ as he speaks to reporters while discussing an executive order on social media companies in Washington   -  REUTERS

US President Donald Trump   -  REUTERS

The twitter page of US President Donald Trump’s on a mobile phone   -  AFP

Order calls for new regulations on companies’ liability

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that seeks to limit liability protections social-media companies enjoy after Twitter Inc began selective fact-checks of his posts on the platform.

Under the current law, companies like Twitter and Facebook Inc are protected for users’ posts. Trump told reporters that his order calls for new regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it such that social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield.

Trump’s move comes after Twitter earlier this week labelled two of his posts about mail-in voting potentially misleading and provided links to news coverage of his comments. The President responded with outrage, accusing the social media company of censorship and election interference and threatening to possibly shut down the service.

“I’m signing an executive order to protect and uphold the free speech rights of the American people,” Trump said. “Currently, social media giants like Twitter receive an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they’re a neutral platform, which they’re not.”

Another flash point

The clash escalated on early Friday morning when Twitter flagged another Trump tweet that the company said violated its rules about glorifying violence. Twitter obscured the offending message, about violence in Minnesota after the death of man in police custody, but said it may be in the public interest for the post to remain accessible.

Published on May 29, 2020
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