President Trump signs executive order on social media

President Trump signs executive order on social media

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President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday that targeted social media companies.

Law professors Laurence Tribe and Joshua Geltzer, writing in The Washington Post, say that by seeking to regulate content online, "Trump is already committing the very violation of which he's accusing Twitter".

The President's remarks and the draft order, as written, attempts to circumvent Congress and the courts in directing changes to long-established interpretations of Section 230. In a third tweet he threatened "big action" against Twitter.

What does the executive order say?

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Republican and Democratic lawmakers, along with the Justice Department, have been considering proposed changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law that largely exempts online platforms from legal liability for the material their users post.

Under Section 230 of the law, social networks are not generally held responsible for content posted by their users but can engage in "good-Samaritan blocking", such as removing content that is obscene, harassing or violent.

"This does not make us an 'arbiter of truth, '" he adds.

Prof. Jonathan Turley, a legal expert at The George Washington University, said Twitter's decision to append comments to the president's tweets is what many of his followers fear.

YouTube, owned by Google, has not yet responded.

Fox said it would play its full interview with Mr Zuckerberg on Thursday. Conservatives have long complained the internet giants suppress conservative views.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai did not take a stance, but said in a statement to Business Insider that the FCC "will carefully review" any petition it receives pursuant to the executive order.

What sparked the latest row?

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Twitter had subsequently applied a "fact-checking" label on this tweet, which read "Get the facts about mail-in ballots" and linked it to a page that described the claims as "unsubstantiated".

He had tweeted, without providing evidence: "There is no way (zero) that mail-in ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent".

Twitter called the image "manipulated media".

"Twitter was flagging President Trump's tweet and providing more information", he said.

And he would not allow this to happen.

Trump has been bashing Twitter (on Twitter) for fact-checking the two tweets.

Sorry, this Twitter post is now unavailable.

Is Twitter stifling free speech?

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"We believe that people should be able to have a robust debate about the electoral process, which is why we have crafted our policies to focus on misrepresentations that would interfere with the vote", a Facebook spokesman told Reuters. The notice links to a lengthy list of articles that fact-check the claim. On Wednesday, White House advisor Kellyanne Conway took to Fox News and called on Trump supporters to protest Twitter's Head of Site Integrity for past tweets criticizing the president and his administration.

It said at the time that it would later extend the COVID-19 policy to other types of disputed or misleading information.

Szabo, the counsel for the tech titans, told Newsweek that Twitter added a label to Trump's tweets rather than deleting them or any others that have been reported from Trump's prolific feed.

Twitter says common reasons for suspending accounts are abusive tweets and spam - not the censoring of political opinions. I expect those companies, and every American who participates in online speech, to resist this illegal act by all possible means.

And these criticisms don't just come from conservatives. "We're fed up with it".

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