Schumer gives Trump a quick bit of advice in Twitter feud

Schumer gives Trump a quick bit of advice in Twitter feud

Schumer gives Trump a quick bit of advice in Twitter feud

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to regulate or shut down social media companies for stifling conservative voices, a day after Twitter attached a warning to some of his tweets prompting readers to fact check the president's claims.

President Trump on Thursday called it "ridiculous" of Twitter to add fact-check labels to his tweets claiming that mail-in ballots would lead to voter fraud - and specifically singled out one of the members of the social media giant's policing team who once called the president a "racist tangerine".

Internet services like Twitter and Facebook have been struggling to root out misinformation, while at the same time keeping their platforms open to users.

"Donald Trump's order is plainly illegal", said Oregon Sen. After all, Section 230 is the law, and that means in this case the existing law is on Twitter, Facebook and Google's side.

"We're fed up with it", said Trump, who is under constant fact-checking by various media outlets.

The order, a draft copy of which was seen by Reuters, could change before it is finalised.

Critics says Section 230 gives tech companies too much power over what is and is not allowed on their sites.

Others like Jack Balkin, a Yale University constitutional law professor said "The president is trying to frighten, coerce, scare, cajole social media companies to leave him alone and not do what Twitter has just done to him".

Still, Twitter's shares were down 2.5 per cent on Thursday.

President Donald Trump listens as Attorney General William Barr speaks before Trump signs an executive order aimed at curbing
Trump Executive Order Against Social Media Giants Denounced as Unlawful Ploy to 'Eviscerate Public Oversight of His Lies'

Along with Twitter, Facebook and Google were also named in the order.

Mr Trump, who uses Twitter heavily to promote his policies and insult his opponents, has long claimed without evidence that the service is biased in favor of Democrats. "Instead the president is encouraging Facebook and other social media giants to continue to exploit and profit off falsehoods with total impunity-while at the same time directing the federal government to dismantle efforts to help users distinguish fact from fiction".

Section "230 was very specifically crafted to get platforms to moderate content", she said.

Beleaguered social media companies have been grappling with the disinformation era, whether from bots that sow discord, scurrilous political ads or valid users spreading inaccurate information.

Dorsey says "the tweets yesterday may mislead people into thinking they don't need to register to get a ballot", which is a violation of Twitter's policy on safeguarding elections from manipulation. "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".

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, passed in 1996, shields platforms from liability, something that the industry has said has allowed social media sites to grow and flourish. Twitter said it would not fact-check these tweets, because they did not violate its policies, and would not remove them despite a request from the staffer's widower.

Finally the order asks the Attorney General to create a working group with attorneys from each state to examine what state laws are available to enforce that platforms are complying with the law. The tool will collect complaints of online censorship and submit them to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The tweets referred to Trump as a "racist tangerine" and to his administration as "Nazis in the White House".

Before Thursday's executive order was issued, Facebook Chief Executive Office Mark Zuckerberg, appearing on the CNBC business channel, said he did not think "Facebook or internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth".

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