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Trump's Next Move in Twitter War: Executive Order

Though it's not clear how much authority POTUS has to regulate social media
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2020 12:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump's feud with Twitter continues. The latest: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Wednesday night that the POTUS will soon sign an executive order aimed at social media companies, the AP reports. White House strategic communications director Alyssa Farah said the move would come Thursday, but neither offered further details on what exactly it would entail. Politico explains that tech companies are concerned Trump will target a 1996 statute protecting them from lawsuits; conservatives have increasingly accused the companies of abusing that protection, which has so far afforded them broad leeway to censor material they deem objectionable. Trump, who is upset Twitter flagged two of his tweets about mail-in ballots and voter fraud with a fact-check warning, and other Republicans have accused social media companies of left-wing bias.

Such companies "are curators of user experiences, i.e. the man behind the curtain for everything we can see or hear," an administration official tells Politico anonymously. Trump had threatened "big action" against them earlier Wednesday, and on Wednesday night added, "Big Tech is doing everything in their very considerable power to CENSOR in advance of the 2020 Election. If that happens, we no longer have our freedom. I will never let it happen! They tried hard in 2016, and lost. Now they are going absolutely CRAZY. Stay Tuned!!!" Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg seemed to agree with Trump on at least one thing, saying that social media companies "shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online." Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey hit right back: "We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally," he tweeted. "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.” (Read more President Trump stories.)

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