Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg criticizes Twitter for fact-checking President Trump

Twitter on the front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York

U.S. President Donald Trump looks set to escalate his feud with Twitter.

"There are important reasons to restructure the law to make the web more open and free", said Miller, "but this executive order is a distraction and we should all have learned to ignore distractions like this from Trump by now".

Trump and his campaign reacted after Twitter added a warning phrase to two Trump tweets that called mail-in ballots "fraudulent" and predicted "mail boxes will be robbed".

Trump's executive order also addresses whether federal advertising dollars should be held back from the companies if they "violate free speech principles". Twitter has declined to do so, and has instead indicated that it plans to place a warning label on future tweets from Trump that refer to conspiracy theories around Klausutis' death.

Twitter for the first time slapped a "misleading" warning label on tweets from President Donald Trump, prompting an angry response from the US leader who vowed to regulate or shut down social media platforms.

"Changing Section 230 is Congress' prerogative, not the president's by fiat", said Laroia. As Karen North, a professor of social media at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication, told USAToday: "Presidents can do anything".

He called the order "mostly smoke and mirrors" that would likely have little effect legally.

Still, Twitter's shares were down 2.5 per cent on Thursday. Facebook and Google parent Alphabet Inc were up slightly.

"After taking too long to act, Twitter once again came up short out of fear of upsetting Trump", the party said in a statement. "Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!", said Trump. Senator Josh Hawley has introduced legislation to change to law, but that effort is in its early stages.


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg weighs in on President Trump's public spat with Twitter over its fact-checking policy during an interview airing Thursday on Fox News Channel's "The Daily Briefing". 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.

Responding to Zuckerberg's comments late Wednesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said on Twitter that the social media platform will "continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally".

Matt Schruers, president of technology group the Computer & Communications Industry Association, said "retaliation against the private sector for fact-checking leadership is what we expect from foreign autocracies, not the United States".

The order sets out to clarify the Communications Decency Act, a USA law that offers online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube legal protection in certain situations.

The language of Section 230 happens to be part of the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement, extending across North America the legal protections social media platforms already enjoy under American law.

The draft order also states that the White House Office of Digital Strategy will re-establish a tool to help citizens report cases of online censorship.

And the draft of the executive order points out this legal immunity does not apply if a social network edits content posted by its users.

Federal spending on online advertising will also be reviewed by US government agencies to ensure there are no speech restrictions by the relevant platform. "It's time for those in Washington to speak up for the First Amendment".

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