Earlier this week, Twitter flagged a couple of tweets from the President of the United States, Donald Trump, for misinformation. This was the first time that the social media giant had taken an initiative of the sort. Trump wasn't pleased with it, per se, and had a strong reaction. In response, he wrote that Twitter was stifling free speech and interfering in the 2020 Presidential elections. He also signaled that legal action could be taken against social media websites indulging in the same.
Building on this, Donald Trump has now signed an executive order that seeks to limit liability protections of social media companies. This would be achieved by increasing the involvement of the federal government in the regulation of social media sites.
As reported by Bloomberg, currently, firms like Twitter and Facebook are protected from the content that users post on their platforms. But Trump's executive order aims to change this so that social media companies that engage in censorship or any political conduct will not be able to shield themselves from their liability. The full text of the executive order can be found here.
The President of the United States claims that he signed the executive order to uphold free speech and open debate on the internet.
“I’m signing an executive order to protect and uphold the free speech rights of the American people. Currently, social media giants like Twitter receive an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they’re a neutral platform, which they’re not.”
Moreover, President Trump also claimed that if it were legal for him to shut down Twitter, he would do so. He further stated that he expects the order to be challenged in court.