Thu | Aug 13, 2020

Trump preparing order targeting social media protections

Published:Thursday | May 28, 2020 | 9:52 AM
President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters during an event on protecting seniors with diabetes in the Rose Garden White House, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is preparing to sign an executive order Thursday aimed at curbing liability protections for social media companies, two days after he lashed out at Twitter for applying fact checks to two of his tweets.

Trump had threatened social media companies with new regulation or even shuttering on Wednesday, lashing out at the new policy he believed interfered with his political messaging, but he alone can’t do that.

The proposed order would direct executive branch agencies including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to study whether they can place new rules on the companies — though experts expressed doubts much could be done without an act of Congress.

A similar executive order was previously considered by the administration but shelved over concerns it couldn’t pass legal muster and that it violated conservative principles on deregulation and free speech.

Two administration officials outlined the draft order on the condition of anonymity because it was still being finalised Thursday morning. But a draft was circulating on Twitter — where else?

“This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

Trump on Wednesday claimed tech giants “silence conservative voices.” “We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”

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