President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday targeting social media companies, and in particular Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides freedom to websites to moderate their own platforms as well as protections from liability for content that is posted on said platforms.
The signing comes just days after Twitter (TWTR) - Get Twitter Inc. Report labeled two of the President’s tweets as “potentially misleading.” The tweets in question included unsubstantiated claims that mail-in ballots will result in voter fraud, which is not true.
According to tweets by the President, Twitter is attempting to censor his free speech.
Here’s a snippet from the Executive Order signed on Thursday: “We cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick the speech that Americans may access and convey on the internet. This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power.”
Of course, signing an executive order does not change federal law. In order for change to occur, Congress would need to pass a new law. While Trump’s order attempts to direct the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) into following it, the FCC is not legally bound to do so, as it is independent and not tethered to the Federal branch.
Jim Cramer weighed in, saying the executive order isn't constitutional.
The executive order doesn’t appear to be intimidating Twitter.
The social media platform has since flagged tweets from both Donald Trump and the White House about the race protests in Minneapolis.
The tweets violated Twitter’s rules about glorifying violence.
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