Trump to ‘sign executive order about social media’

President Donald Trump attends a press conference at the Kennedy Space Center on May 27, 2020.

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U.S. President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on social media companies on Thursday, the White House said.

It comes after he threatened to shut down social media platforms, accused of stifling conservative rumors.

The latest dispute broke out on Tuesday after Twitter added links to the facts on its tweets for the first time.

The details of the order were not shared and it is unclear what regulatory measures the president can take without new laws approved by Congress.

White House officials did not provide further information when questioned by reporters who were traveling with Mr Trump on the Air Force one Wednesday.

  • Twitter tags Trump post with fact verification notice
  • Trump threatens to shut down social media companies

Before leaving Washington for Florida to witness a space launch that was postponed due to bad weather, Trump again accused Twitter and other social media of bias, without offering evidence.

Trump also continued his criticisms of social media platforms on Twitter, concluding a tweet with: “Now they are getting absolutely CRAZY. Stay tuned !!!”

The long-standing dispute between Mr Trump and social media companies came back on Tuesday when one of his posts received a fact-checking label from Twitter for the first time.

He had tweeted, without giving evidence: “THERE IS NO WAY (ZERO!) That Mail-In Ballot will be anything but substantially fraudulent.”

Twitter added a warning label to the post and linked to a page that described the claims as “unproven”.

Trump threatened on Wednesday to “tightly regulate” or even “close” social media platforms.

He tweeted to his over 80 million followers that Republicans felt the “totally silent conservative” platforms and that he would not allow that to happen. In a previous tweet, he claimed that Twitter was “completely stifling free speech”.

Trump wrote a similar post on the Facebook post on correspondence voting on Tuesday, and no such warnings were applied.

On Wednesday, in an interview with Fox News, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that censoring a social media platform would not be the “right reflection” for a government concerned about censorship. Fox said he will play his full interview with Mr. Zuckerberg on Thursday.

Twitter has strengthened its policies in recent years, addressing criticism that its practical approach has been helping fake accounts and misinformation to thrive.

Some of America’s biggest tech companies have also been charged with anti-competitive practices and violating their users’ privacy. Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon face antitrust probes from federal and state authorities and a U.S. congressional panel.

Twitter and Facebook stocks fell in Wednesday’s trading session in New York.

Facebook, Twitter and Google did not immediately respond to BBC requests for comment.

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