‘No publisher would stand behind Trump’s lies & ravings’: Trump’s anti-Twitter exec order would backfire on him

'He's a dictator-wannabe moron': Twitterati tear into Trump for signing exec order to weaken social media companies

Screenshot / The HIll

If you were wondering how Trump felt about Twitter adding a fact-check label to his tweets about voter fraud, and calling them “potentially misleading,” your answer is here.

Only 48 hours after the incident, President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order targeting social media companies. According to the nation’s leader, the move aims to “defend free speech from one of the gravest dangers it has faced in American history.” Speaking from The Oval Office, he said:

“A small handful of social media monopolies controls a vast portion of all public and private communications in the United States,” he claimed. “They’ve had unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter, virtually any form of communication between private citizens and large public audiences.”

What is the order?

According to The New York Times, the order seeks to attack legal protections that keep people from suing social media websites.

This is usually protected by a 1996 law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, that blocks people from suing providers of an “interactive computer service” for libel if users post defaming messages on their platforms.

Trump’s order argues that if a site restricts access to others’ content in bad faith and goes beyond removing the types of objectionable content detailed in the law, it should be considered a publisher and not a neutral platform. So, the order deems that these sites shouldn’t be protected from lawsuits at all.

Twitterati has a lot to say…

Man in a black shirt holding a phone

Unsplash

One reporter observed that Trump’s argument for this order that conservative voices are being silenced has no basis. In fact, he pointed out — with graphs — that conservative pages do quite well on social media platforms.

Another Twitter user echoed what internet and legal experts are saying: It’s legally unenforceable.

A legal analyst even pointed out that Trump’s move could do the exact opposite of what he intends.

Others called out Trump’s hypocrisy.

‘Russia used social media to help Trump!’

They even resurrected the fact that Russian bots retweeted Trump nearly 500,000 times in the final weeks of his 2016 election campaign, essentially using social media to help him.

One Twitter user observed that Trump’s executive order could put the U.S. tech industry, which contributes $2.1 trillion to the economy, in jeopardy — especially since social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are all based out of the U.S.

And, by that logic, all of Trump’s social media campaigns (costing a whopping $16.9 million in the first half of 2019 alone) should be blocked.

‘If only Trump had acted as quickly on the outbreak of a deadly global pandemic…’

A photograph of Donald Trump's head floats among images of coronavirus cells.

COURIER Illustration

Trump’s order comes just two days after Twitter added fact-check labels to his tweets. Some Twitter users are wondering where this swift action was during a deadly pandemic when Americans needed it the most.

Others noted that this was a distraction from critical topics like 100,000 coronavirus deaths and record unemployment that we ought to be talking about.

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