US President Donald Trump (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

‘We’re Fed Up With it’: Trump Signs Order To Make Bias Accused Social Media Giants Liable For Their Content


Two days after Twitter introduced fact checks that showed up on US President Donald Trump's tweets, Trump on Thursday (28 May) signed an executive order threatening to slash protections for social media companies.

Trump's actions seek to blunt Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which immunises websites from legal liability for the comments of their users.

Trump is pushing the idea that Twitter's fact checks amount to political activism and social media companies should not be shielded from lawsuits for what is posted on their platforms.

"We're fed up with it," Trump said moments before signing the executive order which he claimed would uphold freedom of speech.

"This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!" Trump tweeted on Thursday morning. Trump railed on Twitter that tech giants "silence conservative voices." "We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen."

“Currently, social media giants like Twitter received unprecedented viability shield based on the theory that they are a neutral platform, which they are not”, Trump was quoted as saying.’’

Currently social media giants are protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which treats them as platforms and not publishers enabling them to largely escape lawsuits.

Trump's latest executive order directs the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to analyse whether they can rein in social media companies.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey shared in public domain an updated version of the company's civic integrity policy.

It says: "You may not use Twitter's services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes. This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress participation or mislead people about when, where, or how to participate in a civic process."

Twitter, no stranger to controversy, has stopped political ads on its platform since late 2019.

Twitter which has come under intense scrutiny over its alleged bias, has added a fact-checking warning to Covid-19 tweets of Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, over two months after they were posted.

With Inputs From IANS