Washington: US President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday seeking to limit the broad legal protection that federal law currently provides to social-media and other online platforms, a move that is expected to draw immediate court challenges.
The order seeks to make it easier for federal regulators to hold companies such as Twitter and Facebook.
The order came after Twitter labelled Trump’s tweets about mail-in ballots for containing “potentially misleading information.”
During the signing, Trump said that social media companies aren’t “neutral platforms,” adding that Twitter becomes an “editor with a viewpoint” when it bans accounts, edits or takes down posts.
First Amendment advocates and tech industry groups quickly raised red flags over the order and doubts about its enforceability.
The order takes aim at a key provision of the law that protects tech platforms from liability for the third party content posted on their sites — whether that be immunity from lawsuits over the material itself or if action is taken to restrict it.
After Twitter slapped fact-checking links onto two of Trump’s tweets this week, he lashed out at the platforms, threatening to shut them down or impose regulations, while the White House announced plans to issue the order. Trump and other Republicans have long complained of bias and even censorship on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.