Thursday, May 28, 2020

Trump threatens Twitter after fact-check: 'We will strongly regulate, or close them down"

Tensions between President Trump and Twitter escalated as he threatened to "strongly regulate" or shut down social media platforms, which he accused of silencing conservative viewpoints, reported NPR.
Trump's threats come one day after Twitter, for the first time, added a fact-check warning to a pair of his tweets. In them, Trump claimed without evidence that mail-in ballots are fraudulent.
"Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices," Trump tweeted on May 27, 2020. "We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can't let a more sophisticated version of that.... happen again."
Twitter declined to comment on the president's threats.
It's unclear what Trump could do to crack down on social media platforms, but the power of Silicon Valley tech giants has been the subject of investigations by federal and state agencies, as well as congressional hearings.
University of Miami Law Professor Mary Anne Franks said the president has little legal recourse against Twitter's decision to fact-check his posts because the company has the right to set and enforce its own rules.
"Can a public official try to regulate or to shut down a private entity on the basis of not liking what they did?" she said. "No, that would be exactly what the First Amendment protects us against. That's the great irony of this."
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