President Trump is planning to sign an executive order today, which would “strongly regulate” or shut down social media. This move comes after Twitter labeled a pair of his tweets with a fact-checking notice for the first time on Tuesday, Politico reports.
On Wednesday, Trump wrote, “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again.”
This announcement raises fears that the Trump administration will censor the online industry and social media for anti-conservative bias ahead of the 2020 elections.
Trump and his supporters have been slamming Twitter after the social network labeled a pair of his tweets with a fact-checking notice. Twitter acted after Trump claimed on Tuesday that mail-in ballots are likely to be “substantially fraudulent.” The platform put a link in his tweets, titled “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” which directed users to news stories debunking claims of election cheating.
Amidst the whirlwind of responses against social media platforms, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg chimed in, claiming private companies “shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey in turn responded: “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.”
Trump’s quarrel with Twitter has reignited Republican calls for Congress to roll back the legal shield which protects tech companies from lawsuits. It awaits to be seen how Trump’s vow to “strongly regulate” social media will be enacted. Keep it here for updates.