Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey disagree on fact checking the president

Joanna Estrada
May 29, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump will reportedly sign an executive order as early as today that would modify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act - a critical law that protects online platforms that moderate or censor offensive content from charges such as libel and First Amendment violations.

News of the proposed executive order came after Trump attacked Twitter for tagging the president's tweets about unsubstantiated claims of fraud in mail-in voting with a warning prompting readers to fact-check the posts. Specifically, Trump seemed incensed that Twitter had on Tuesday fact checked two of his tweets.

If this was enacted, the likes of Twitter and Facebook would become open to lawsuits and greatly increased government regulation.

The order is expected to be signed on Thursday. But a draft was circulating on Twitter - where else? I think Facebook has made tens of billions of dollars during this time when people are so reliance on social media.

The retroactive decision comes a day after similar labels were placed on tweets sent by President Donald Trump, in response to queries from media organizations including Newsweek.

Trump lashed out at Twitter, comparing the fact-checking labels to censorship and accusing the social media giant of stifling conservative voices, though the president did not provide any examples to back up his assertion.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said in January Section 230 should be "revoked" in the case of Facebook, which was "propagating falsehoods". "Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that's me".

Dorsey concludes, "Per our Civic Integrity policy (https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/election-integrity-policy), the tweets yesterday may mislead people into thinking they don't need to register to get a ballot (only registered voters receive ballots)".

"They have points of view and if we go by that it's actually unbelievable that there was a success in 2016 but we can't let this continue to happen".

Democrats, meanwhile, have largely applauded the effort to fact-check the president.

Mr Trump's proposal has multiple, serious legal problems and is unlikely to survive a challenge, according to Matt Schruers, president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, a Washington-based organisation that represents computer and internet companies.

Then on Wednesday, Mr Trump threatened to "strongly regulate" social-media platforms.

The social media giant said that the move followed a broadening of its policy guidance which addressed content that contradicts authoritative sources of public health information about the disease. "So they pander to the White House".

"The threat by Donald Trump to shut down social media platforms that he finds objectionable is a unsafe overreaction by a thin-skinned president".

Facebook chose to do nothing, even though identical posts appeared on the platform.

Zuckerberg met with prominent right-wing leaders at the time in an attempt at damage control, and in 2018, Facebook shut down the "trending" section, . But now the American Civil Liberties Union is reacting to Trump's order by shrieking "He can't do that!" .

Experts, meanwhile, suggested that Trump's comments showed a misunderstanding of how search engines work.

The executive order is the latest in a years-long campaign by the president and his allies against social media companies.

Twitter's message directly linked to a curated fact-checking page populated with journalists and news article summaries debunking the claim.

"It does not say companies like Twitter are forced to carry misinformation about voting, especially from the president".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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