• Trump limits protections on social media sites after fact-check

    Date:29 May 2020 Author: Leila Stein

    President Donald Trump signed an executive order limiting liability protections for social-media companies in retaliation for Twitter fact-checking two of his tweets.

    Trump told reporters that his 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 their liability shield.”

    This order was signed after Twitter introduced a new fact-checking system onto its platforms which identifies tweets that are “potentially misleading” and labelled two of Trump’s tweets as such.

    Trump responded by accusing the company of censorship and election interference and threatening to possibly shut it down. This eventually culminated in the executive order.

    The order said it aims to make it easier to bring a lawsuit against such a company that removes or restricts users posting but it is considered not to be done “in good faith.”

    This is a difficult line, as social media companies have been accused of not taking down harmful posts which were linked to violence in Myanmar and election interference in the US. These protections helped such companies moderate content on their site deemed harmful. Removal of such protections leave room for such companies to no longer monitor their sites for fear of retaliation should they moderate.

    In a tweeted statement, Twitter called the executive order “a reactionary and politicized approach to a landmark law,” adding, “attempts to unilaterally erode it threaten the future of online speech and Internet freedoms.”

    Image: TheHill/Twitter

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