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Donald Trump shock: Lawsuit claims POTUS' Executive Order on social media violates First Amendment
President Donald Trump is known for attacking his political enemies on Twitter, and later on, signed an executive order on social media sites. Now, a new lawsuit has come up against the order, claiming that it violates the first amendment.
The Verge reports that the Center for Democracy and Technology or the CDT, who filed the lawsuit, claimed that Trump’s Executive Order was done in retaliation of Twitter’s use of the First Amendment right to be able to moderate the messages Trump posts on the social media site. As Trump’s order attacked Twitter, the CDT further reasoned that this would end up keeping social media platforms from exercising its rights to free speech nor moderate Trump’s posts in fear of retaliation.
“The President has made clear that his goal is to use threats and retaliation and future regulation to intimidate intermediaries into changing how they moderate content, essentially ensuring that the dangers of voter suppression and disinformation will grow unchecked in an election year,” said the CDT CEO Alexandra Givens in a statement.
The signing of the Executive Order comes as a few of Trump’s tweets regarding mail-in voting and voter fraud were placed under a fact-check tag. The tags linked to articles from news outlets clarifying the facts on these issues that Trump has accused several states (and the Democrats) of. By the end of May, Twitter restricted another tweet from Trump for violation of its policies of glorifying violence.
Among the social media sites that would be included in this Executive Order was Facebook. CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously spoke out against Twitter’s fact-checking policy in an interview, saying that their platforms are not in the position to do such actions. However, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded that it is their responsibility to also show the facts for people to be able to discern the truth for themselves. But Zuckerberg’s decision not to take any action on Trump’s Facebook post that is threatening to shoot looters has earned him backlash from civil rights leaders.
The activist leaders; Vanita Gupta, Sherrilyn Ifill, and Rashad Robison expressed their disappointment towards Zuckerberg, and said that the Facebook CEO is setting a very dangerous precedent for other people who would post harmful things on the platform. This statement came after they met with Zuckerberg and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg on Monday.