The President of the United States, Donald Trump, will sign this Thursday an executive order that opens the door to a possible cataract of lawsuits against Twitter, Facebook, and other technology giants, in a new step in the war that he has launched against social networks, a key weapon in his reelection campaign.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed early Thursday morning to reporters traveling on the plane with the President back to Washington from Florida, after a rocket launch was postponed due to bad weather from SpaceX and NASA, but gave no details.
Trump himself had hinted on Wednesday night with a tweet: “Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election. They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post….,” he wrote. “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”.
The Bloomberg agency released a draft of the executive order that Trump would announce. According to what the document states, the initiative could bring a barrage of lawsuits on social media companies because it lifts certain government protections that these companies have regarding user posts.
This kind of legal shield is applied based on the alleged “good faith” that companies have to eliminate or limit the visibility of certain tweets, videos, or posts on social networks. But the expression “good faith” is not defined by the regulations. The draft would then order the Federal Communications Commission to define that expression, which could open legal gaps so that thousands of users can start lawsuits.
According to The New York Times, “The decree, which officials said was still being drafted and subject to change, would make it easier for federal regulators to argue that companies like Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter are suppressing freedom of expression when they mobilize. to suspend users or delete posts, among other examples. ”
The draft, according to Bloomberg, also notes that the president will create, through the Justice Department, a task force made up of state Justice Ministers to examine deceptive practices and review government spending on ads on those platforms.
If implemented, the decree can open a huge legal battle between Washington and Silicon Valley.
In recent hours, Trump has fiercely confronted Twitter because this company placed a tag on one of his tweets to warn followers that he should check presidential information, hinting that it could be false or biased.