"This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!" President Trump tweeted Thursday morning. The reason? Late in the afternoon, he signed an executive order that could deal a big blow to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media companies.
Among other things, the move could strip the companies of protection from lawsuits stemming from comments or videos posted by individuals. All of this comes amid the backdrop of Twitter's move to start fact-checking the president's tweets, which he has condemned as politically biased.
"We're fed up with it," Trump said at the signing, per the AP. Coverage:
Those words: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." The section shields social media companies that act in "good faith" from lawsuits due to content posted on their platforms, and Trump's executive order directs federal regulators to rethink the law.
Any change in the law "could mean potentially dramatic free-speech implications and wide-ranging consequences for a broad swath of companies," per the Post.
The current law gives companies much leeway to remove content they deem objectionable, and Trump contends they're abusing their power, reports Politico. "In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick the speech that Americans may access and convey online," says a draft version.
The new Twitter fight is an example. "This plays right into President Trump's hands," Jason Miller, communications director for Trump's 2016 campaign, tells CNN. "They basically handed him a massive gift."
This article originally appeared on Newser: Trump's Order Could Upend 26 Key Words