MEMEWARS: POTUS Trump Smacks Twitter Over 1A with Executive Order

“‘The President has been targeted by Twitter.’ @MariaBartiromois Friday morning’s tweet by U.S. President Donald J. Trump, expressing ire over Twitter’s refusal to place sanctions on liberal posts and propaganda.

On Thursday, only hours after he signed the Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship — a rule at aimed curbing discrimination and censorship by Twitter — his tweet was flagged for violating Twitter rules.

If what sparked his move to make the EO this week was Twitter adding a fact check label to his post about mail-in ballots leading to election fraud, yesterday’s infraction, about the Minneapolis riots, was flagged for violating the Twitter Rule about glorifying violence.

But after their public kerfuffle on Thursday, Twitter did not go so far as to remove the post, but added a stamp that said: “Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

The publicly-traded platform has been equated to the “digital public square” where a wide range of social and political issues can be debated and opinions aired. But Twitter and Facebook have selectively enforced their policies, clearly reflecting political bias. 

As referred to in presidential tweet on Friday: Representative Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) tweets pushing the on-going Russian Collusion narrative are allowed to post unchecked, especially absurd as the declassification of the underlying documents show that he purposefully invented a false narrative.

The Executive Order allows for new regulations so that social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield, known as the Section 230 (c) loophole.

The Executive Order opens interactive computer service providers to stick by one or the other definitions, but not both — companies are either publishers, legally responsible for published content as editors, or they are social forums that allow free discourse among platform users.

As computer service providers, platform owners can argue that their companies are private and can enforce and punish violators of their Terms of Use. While Conservatives cry “foul” in regard to the way these Terms are enforced, the companies themselves refuse to comment when called out on equally-offensive infractions from the other side. 

The Executive Order stops short of nationalizing the entities and making them public spheres of free speech, but curtails their power over dissemination of public opinion and control over users’ ability to conduct business and commerce.

The EO states that “Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube wield immense, if not unprecedented, power to shape the interpretation of public events; to censor, delete, or disappear information; and to control what people see or do not see.”

Twitter user Rolland Schutt questions the timing of his release from user suspension or Twitter jail — known as TWITMO —  and the timing of President Trump’s Executive Order. 

According to Schutt, one of his tweets was deemed to violate Twitter’s Terms of Use and he was slapped with a 24-hour censure of his activities.

President Trump emphasized, “As President, I have made clear my commitment to free and open debate on the internet. Such debate is just as important online as it is in our universities, our town halls, and our homes.  It is essential to sustaining our democracy.”

While the personalities in the platform war jostled for supremacy, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a classic about-face, criticized Twitter for its censoring tactics; users know them both to be stifling free speech. 

(Before the 2018 mid-term elections, Facebook simply eliminated hundreds of news sites on its platform, including those with millions of followers, for having the wrong opinion.)

Twitter countered by poking the bear in defiance of the president’s EO. 

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said Wednesday: 

“We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth.’ Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.”

Earlier, a Twitter hired hand was exposed for holding intense bias against the president while leading their anti-Trump vigilance team, leading Dorsey to stand up for his employee.

 

 

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