- President Trump is accusing Twitter of political bias and wants to pass an executive order on free speech.
- The draft of the order has several problems with section 230 and how the First Amendment protections are transcribed.
- The situation got further escalated today after Twitter hid a tweet from D. Trump due to glorifying violence.
For years, people were criticizing Twitter for not treating Donald Trump like a regular user, allowing the President of the United States to post whatever he liked, which was often controversial, to say the least. On Wednesday, though, the social media platform has decided to “fact-check” the President’s posts, labeling two of his tweets as misleading and putting a warning for the users to “get the facts right.”
As expected, this infuriated D. Trump, who now got a link to CNN below his posts. Trump has a long history of conflict with this particular network, so things couldn’t have been worse and more insulting for him. For this reason, he has pushed for an executive order to prevent online censorship on social media as a response. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube will have to abide by the rights to free speech, as those are described in the First Amendment of the American Constitution. Twitter, in particular, is targeted with the following section of the White House announcement:
“Twitter now selectively decides to place a warning label on certain tweets in a manner that clearly reflects political bias. As has been reported, Twitter seems never to have placed such a label on another politician’s tweet. As recently as last week, Representative Adam Schiff was continuing to mislead his followers by peddling the long-disproved Russian Collusion Hoax, and Twitter did not flag those tweets. Unsurprisingly, its officer in charge of the so-called ‘Site Integrity’ has flaunted his political bias in his own tweets.”
So, the American government is accusing Twitter of taking sides in the political scene - and doing so in suspicious times, as we are a few months away from the next US Presidential election, which is set for November 3, 2020. Expert political and law analysis believe that the order won’t survive judicial scrutiny, as there are multiple elements that go against the established precedent. That said, it is unlikely that the order will pass and come into action as it currently stands.
Things got derailed even more today, with the US President threatening looters in the Minneapolis protests that they will get shot by the national guard. Twitter had to decide on how to handle this unbelievable statement from the President of the United States, as censoring it would mean escalating an already explosive situation between them. The platform decided not to remove the post, but instead hid it and marked it for “glorifying violence”. Users can still view the tweet if they click on the warning, so this came as a median solution.