Trump has signed a decree on the regulation of social networks and threatened to close Twitter

On 28 may, the President of the United States Donald trump signed the Executive decree, which, according to the White house, will allow to regulate the activities of social networks and deprive them of protection against defamation charges, BBC reports.

Трамп подписал указ о регулировании соцсетей и пригрозил закрыть Twitter

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“We are gathered here today to protect freedom of speech from one of the main dangers,” — explained his decision the President of the United States, answering questions of journalists in the oval office.

A document signed by trump, negate the effect of existing paragraph 230 in the United States Act, defining norms of behaviour, particularly in social networks (Communications Decency Act). This paragraph exempts the largest technology companies from liability for content of messages posted on their platforms. Thus, the company’s Twitter and Facebook, for example, were protected from possible lawsuits for libel and protection of honor and dignity.

The online platform, says the decree, conduct selective censorship, mark the content as inappropriate, even if he has not violated any stated terms of service make unannounced and unexplained changes in policy that lead to discredit certain points of view, and remove content and entire account without warning and without justification, writes “RBC”.

The decree gives the regulators the right to file lawsuits in the U.S. on the basis of how those in control of the content on their platforms. Social networks provided immunity should not apply if they edit or delete user content on grounds that are not described in the license agreement with the user, as in this case, “use their power to censor content and silence points of view that they don’t like”.

In the summer of 2019, the administration’s attempt to submit such a decree has failed after representatives of the Federal trade Commission and Federal communications Commission protested, stating that such a move turns the White house into the “police unit”. They are independent bodies not subordinate to the President.

Experts doubt that the US President signed a decree to terminate the 230-th paragraph of an Act, passed in 1996. Most of them agree that the President’s decision will be immediately challenged in court.

However, the new initiative of the White house can make the largest technology companies, including Twitter, Facebook and Google, more aggressive to moderate posts in social networks in order to avoid possible lawsuits. A “victim” of such a policy can become tweets and the President of the United States.

In Washington, however, not sure how effective it could be a new presidential decree. To make changes to the law will need the decision of Congress, but Capitol hill has already made it clear that it is not going to support the initiative of Donald trump. In a special statement by the speaker of the house of representatives Nancy Pelosi called the President’s decision “politically motivated” and “biased”.

May 27, trump has publicly threatened to go for tougher regulation of social networks in the U.S., if they continue to “drown out the voices of conservatives.” Such statement the President made after some of his tweets were marked with a special icon that warned readers that the information may be inaccurate and require further verification. Publications trump said that the Democrats are sending to residents of certain States ballots by mail in the upcoming November presidential election, trying to create conditions for fraud.

In trump’s tweets, which the administration of the social network identified as not corresponding to the facts, stated that the extension of voting by mail creates the conditions for large-scale ballot box stuffing. With this warning tweets are still available to all. All studies postal voting in the United States indicate that fraud is extremely rare.

Trump has threatened to close down Twitter in the U.S.

He stated immediately after the signing of the document on regulation of the American social networks.

“I think I could close it [Twitter]. But you need to go through legal procedures. If he could be legally closed, I would have done it,” said the American President.

“We can’t afford a limited number of online platforms to manually choose the words that Americans can share on the Internet,” added trump.

“This practice is essentially anti-American and anti-democratic. When a large and influential company social networking censor views which do not agree, they are dangerous power. They cease to function as a passive Bulletin Board and should be considered as content creators,” reads the document.


The head of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, for his part, wrote: “We will continue to point to an incorrect or disputed information on elections worldwide.”

“If anyone is responsible for the actions of the company, it’s me. Please leave in the direction of our employees,” added Dorsey.

While Dorsey stressed that such actions do not do Twitter “arbiter of truth”.

“Our goal is to bring together the contradictory statements and show information from different angles, so people can evaluate it, he said. — Important for us maximum transparency, so that people could clearly see the cause of our actions”.

Trump later wrote in a Facebook post the same as the one that was marked with a warning on Twitter. In this network, the message no marks attached. The head of Facebook mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly said that does not want his company took over the functions of arbitrator of truth. He opposed the tightening of control over social networks in the United States.

“I need to understand what intend to do. In General, the government’s decision to censor any platform <…> doesn’t seem the right reaction,” he said in an interview with Fox News.

Twitter has long been criticized for the fact that it allows you to distribute on their platform fake accounts and misinformation. In early may, the network has tightened policy in terms of the fight against misinformation. A number of American tech giants — Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon — are the object of investigation of the American regulatory authorities and subject to monopolistic practices and violations of the privacy of users.


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