US President Donald Trump, speaking to reporters in the White House, said he intends to close the social network Twitter. It is reported by Business Insider.
вЂњI think I could close it [Twitter]. But you need to go through legal procedures. If it could be legally closed, I would do it, вЂќ said the American president.
Trump's comment came shortly after he signed an executive order to regulate social networks and вЂњprevent online censorship.вЂќ The document gives a new interpretation to section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Under this article, social networks, as a rule, are not responsible for the content posted by their users but can block and delete the one that is considered obscene, offensive, or inciting to violence.
Trump accused social networks of having вЂњuncontrolled powerвЂќ. The president referred to the ideals of freedom of speech and stated: вЂњWe cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to manually select words that Americans can exchange on the Internet.вЂќ вЂњThis practice is essentially anti-American and anti-democratic. When large and powerful social media companies censor opinions they disagree with, they display dangerous power. They cease to function as passive message boards and should be considered as creators of content, вЂќ the document says.
Online platforms, according to the decree, conduct selective censorship, mark content as inappropriate, even if it does not violate any of the stated conditions for the provision of services, make undeclared and inexplicable changes to company policies that lead to the discrediting of certain points of view, and delete content and entire accounting records without warning and without justification.
The decree gives regulators the right to file lawsuits against social networks based on how they control the content on their platforms. The immunity granted to social networks should not be applied if they edit or delete user content on grounds that are not described in the license agreement with the user since in this case they вЂњuse their power to censor content and gloss over points of view that they do not like.вЂќ
On Wednesday, May 27, Trump publicly threatened to move to tougher regulation of social networks in the US if they continue to вЂњdrown out the voices of conservatives.вЂќ The president made such a statement after several of his posts on Twitter were marked with a special icon that warned readers that the information contained in them may be false and requires additional verification. In Trump's publications, it was said that Democrats, by sending residents of some states ballot papers by mail at the upcoming presidential elections in November, are trying to create conditions for fraud.
Against the backdrop of threats from the head of state, Twitter head Jack Dorsey said that the social network will continue to mark messages with a special icon that may contain inaccurate information. вЂњIf someone is responsible for the actions of the company, it's me. Please leave aside our staff. We will continue to flag incorrect or controversial messages regarding elections around the world, вЂќ he said.
At the same time, Dorsey emphasized that such actions do not make Twitter an вЂњarbiter of truth.вЂќ вЂњOur goal is to bring together conflicting statements and show information from different angles so people can evaluate it themselves,вЂќ he said. вЂњMaximum transparency is important to us so that people can clearly see the reason for our actions.вЂќ
In turn, the head of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg opposed tightening control over social networks in the United States. вЂњI need to understand what exactly they intend to do. In general, the decision of the authorities to censor any platform does not seem to be the right reaction, вЂќ he said in an interview with Fox News.