President Donald Trump will sign a decree on social media companies on Thursday, White House officials said after Trump threatened to shut down the platform he accused of stifling conservative voices.
The officials, who spoke to reporters traveling with Trump to Washington from Florida on Air Force One on Wednesday, gave no further details.
Before leaving for Florida earlier today to observe a postponed space launch due to inclement weather, Trump again accused Twitter and other social media of bias without providing evidence.
It was not immediately clear if Trump had the power to shut down the companies. Twitter declined to comment on news of Trump’s plans. Facebook and Google did not immediately comment.
The American Civil Liberties Union said that the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution limited any action Trump could take to regulate social media platforms.
In addition, a panel of three judges of the United States Court of Appeal in Washington confirmed on Wednesday the rejection of a lawsuit launched by a conservative group and a right-wing personality of YouTube against Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple, alleging that they had conspired to suppress conservative political opinions. .
Trump’s last social media dispute came after Twitter, for the first time, attached a warning to some of its tweets, urging readers to check the president’s claims.
In tweets tagged by Twitter, Trump made allegations not based on postal voting. Trump is falsely claiming that postal ballots lead to electoral fraud and to voters who are ineligible for ballots.
“Republicans believe that social media platforms are completely silencing the voices of the Tories. We will tightly regulate them, or shut them down, before allowing this to happen,” Trump said in a pair of additional Twitter posts on Wednesday.
The president, a big Twitter user with over 80 million followers, added: “Clean up your number, NOW !!!!”
The greatest threat to date
Trump’s threat to shut down platforms like Twitter and Facebook is the strongest to date as part of a broader Conservative backlash against Big Tech. The shares of the two companies fell on Wednesday.
Last year, the White House released drafts of an anti-conservative prejudice that never gained popularity.
The Internet Association, which includes Twitter and Facebook among its members, said that online platforms are not biased and offer “more chances to be heard than at any point in history. “
Asked Wednesday at the annual Twitter meeting why the company decided to label Trump’s postal voting tweets, General Counsel Sean Edgett said the management decisions misinformation were taken as a group.
“We have a group and a committee of people who look into these things and make decisions about what gets a lot of visibility and traction …”, he said.
In recent years, Twitter has tightened its policies amid criticism that its hands-free approach allows fake accounts and disinformation to thrive.
Tech companies have been accused of anti-competitive practices and invading users’ privacy. Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon are facing antitrust polls from federal and state authorities and a panel of the United States Congress.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers, as well as the United States Department of Justice, have considered amending section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law largely exempting online platforms from legal liability for content posted by their users. Such changes could expose tech companies to more lawsuits.
Republican Senator Josh Hawley, a frequent critic of Big Tech companies, sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday asking why the company should continue to enjoy legal immunity after “choosing to edit President Trump’s tweets. “
Twitter rival Facebook left Trump’s postcard ballot message intact on Tuesday.