NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - President Donald Trump signed an executive order curbing liability protection for social media companies. It comes days after Twitter added alerts to the president’s tweets on mail-in voting.
The timing of the disclaimers is something Tulane School of Business Professor Ashley Nelson is puzzled by,
“It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens because no one has decided to try to bring this up to this to the floor on the senate in a bill,” Nelson said.
In a tweet, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says the platform flagged two of Trump’s tweets because it, “may mislead people into thinking they don’t need to register.” Dorsey says the tweets violate the platform’s civic integrity policy.
“The president clearly unhappy with what Twitter wanted to do,” FOX 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman said. “It could damage the president’s ability to use his favorite platform on getting his message out.”
Sherman says this fight between Trump and Twitter is politics at play.
“When I read the president’s tweets about issuing an executive order against twitter,” Sherman said. “I see it as a political move not really a legal or executive move. Make no mistake about it, we’re in an election year and twitter is the president’s favorite platform to get his campaign message out.”
Nelson says she does not want to see social media platforms regulated but concedes the president’s executive order could lay the groundwork for setting guidelines for all platforms.
“Both sides of the aisle have their complaints about [Twitter], not everyone’s always happy and there may be ways to find something, some common ground here that can lay down a foundation,” Nelson said.
Nelson and Sherman both say regulating social media platforms won’t be easy.
“They don’t have to follow FCC guidelines,” Nelson said. “They’re exempt from all the rules and regulations that your station has to follow in regard to reporting the news.”
“When it comes to regulating internet platforms, this has been a long and complicated process that Congress hasn’t been engaged with,” Sherman said. “It would be surprising to think that the president could make a significant impact through a binding executive order.”
At the White House, President Trump says he expects the executive order to face legal challenges.