Trump Signs Executive Order Challenging Social-Media Liability Protections

May 29, 2020

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After Twitter said it would add a fact-check warning to President Trump's more factually dubious tweets, he upped the ante on Thursday by signing an executive order that challenges liability protections currently granted to social-media companies. Trump's order directs executive branch agencies to ask independent rule-making agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, to study whether they can place new regulations on companies like Twitter and Facebook when it comes to their degree of responsibility for content posted by users—though some experts doubt much can be done without an act of Congress. “The irony that is lost here is that if these protections were to go away, social-media services would be far more aggressive in moderating content and terminating accounts” like Trump's, Matt Schruers, president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, tells the AP. “Our vibrant public sphere of discussion would devolve into nothing more than pre-approved soundbites.”