Donald Trump signs order targeting social media giants after Twitter spat


Earlier on Thursday (May 28), Trump called out a single Twitter employee, head of site integrity Yoel Roth, in a tweet complaining that the platform's decision to fact-check his tweets on voting by mail could "taint" the U.S. election.

The American Civil Liberties Union called Trump's order "a blatant and unconstitutional threat to punish social media companies that displease the president".

"We have a different policy I think than Twitter on this", Zuckerberg told Fox News, Trump's preferred broadcaster, in previews of an interview due to air on Thursday.

The president added: "We're fed up with it". "A small handful of powerful social media monopolies control the vast portion of all private and public communications in the United States".

The president has criticized Twitter this week for posting fact-checking labels on his tweets for the first time, on the subject of expanded voting by mail, which the president opposes.

The executive order would push the Federal Communications Commission to set new rules on some websites' protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The order will also collect complaints of online censorship against these platforms and send them to the Dept. of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to consider action.

The founders of Facebook and Twitter have clashed following Twitter's decision. "In those moments Twitter ceases to be a neutral public platform and it becomes an editor with a viewpoint".

"The choices Twitter makes when it chooses to suppress, edit, blacklist, shadowban are editorial decisions pure and simple", Trump said during the signing on Thursday.

Legal experts says the US Congress or the court system must be involved to change the current legal understanding of protections for these platforms.

Social media companies now "have a shield". "They have a shield; they're not gonna have a shield".

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All of a sudden, the First Amendment applied only to the government - but not to Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

When asked about further regulation, Pelosi said: "What they all are is somebody who is avoiding taxes and regulation".

Zuckerberg said his company cares "deeply" about giving people a voice and empowering individuals.

Height Capital Markets analysts Chase White and Clayton Allen described the executive order as "mostly noise without any teeth".

Trump's view is shared by some conservative lawmakers who claim platforms lose immunity when they act as publishers by moderating and editorializing on their sites.

"The states have broad and powerful authority to regulate in this arena and they'll be doing it also". We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016.

FILE - Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris, June 7, 2019. We'll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. "This does not make us an 'arbiter of truth.' Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves".

"If it were able to be legally shut down, I would do it", Trump said of Twitter.

"It's important to recognize that, especially for conservatives who are championing this effort, social media has been one of the best tools for conservative voices and conservative values", he said. "They're trying to be the one between the content creator and the people that they're trying to reach".

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

Dorsey also denounced Trump's online supporters and surrogates for going after the company's executives, asking the Twitter's newly energized critics, inspired by Trump's own ire toward the company, to "please leave our employees out of this". In fact, Section 230 has been limited several times to remove its protections from user-generated content that sexualizes or threatens children.