Days after Twitter added 'fact check' to two of US President Donald Trump tweets, calling them 'potentially misleading', the latter has signed an executive order about social media platforms. The order is aimed at limiting the broad legal protections enjoyed by social media companies. Trump says he is signing this order to protect and uphold free speech and rights of the American people.
The executive order signed today focuses on free speech, protection against online censorship and federal taxpayer dollars from financing online platforms that restrict free speech, federal review of unfair or deceptive acts or practices, and State Review of unfair or deceptive acts or practices and anti-discrimination laws. For purposes of this order, the term "online platform" means any website or application that allows users to create and share content or engage in social networking, or any general search engine.
US President Donald Trump said, "Social media platforms have unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, and alter virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences. There's no precedent in American history for so small a number of corporations to control so large a sphere of human interaction. The executive order will protect and uphold free speech rights of the American people. 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. My executive order calls for new regulations under Section 230 of the communications decency act, to make it that social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct will not be able to keep the liability shield that's a big deal. My executive order further instructs the Federal Trade Commission FTC to prohibit social media companies from engaging in any deceptive acts or practices, affecting commerce, this authority resides in section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Additionally, I'm directing the Attorney General to work cooperatively with the states."
President Trump is aware that there will be a lawsuit. He added, "I'm also sure that we're going to be going for legislation in addition to this, and the legislation will start immediately."
After the US President first warned about the executive order on social media, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a series of tweets had explained, "Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that's me. Please leave our employees out of this. We'll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make. 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. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions." Dorsey also shared the link of the civic integrity policy.