U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed his executive order on the social media platforms.
But he didn’t follow through his threat to shut Twitter.
However, he accused the social media platform of anti-conservative bias, which to him, is one of the greatest threats to free speech in American history.
His executive order is intended to begin tackling what he claims is censorship of conservative voices.
“The order could open Twitter, Facebook and Google up to lawsuits by diluting the legal protection which stops them from being liable for posts on their platforms, and which also allows them to moderate content”, the Daily Mail reported..
Trump descended on social media after Twitter slapped two of the President’s tweets on mail-in- ballots with a ‘fact check’ on Tuesday.
The U.S. President hit back by saying he would regulate and even shut down the Silicon Valley giants if they are shown to be biased.
He accused Twitter of becoming an ‘editor with a point of view’ and not a ‘neutral platform’ by fact-checking him and then slammed one of its executives, Yoel Roth, its head of user integrity, accusing him of ‘fraud’ for the fact check. Twitter says he was not involved in it.
Asked if he wanted to get rid of Twitter he said: ‘If it was legal, if it was able to be legally shut down, I would.’
Trump signed the executive order on ‘fairness’ as his attorney-general Bill Barr looked on.
‘We’re here today to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers it has faced in American history, frankly, and you know what’s going on as well as anybody.
“It’s not good,’ Trump said before inking the order.
“‘A small handful of powerful social media monopolies controls a vast portion of all public and private communication in the United States and we know what they are, we don’t have to name them, we’re going to give you a complete listing.’
‘They’ve had unchecked power to censure, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences,’ he said.
Trump also tried to use the power of federal purse strings as pressure, saying we ‘are not going in any social media company that repress[es] free speech.’
He said the government spends ‘billions of dollars on giving them money’ and called the firms ‘rich enough,’ although independent accounts put the total government ad spending far lower.
‘We’re going to be doing none of it or very little of it,’ Trump said.
Asked if he would consider simply deleting his Twitter account given his concerns, Trump said he would ‘do that in a heartbeat’ if we had a ‘fair press’ in the U.S.