“Much as he might wish otherwise, Donald Trump is not the president of Twitter. This order, if issued, would be a blatant and unconstitutional threat to punish social media companies that displease the president.”
– American Civil Liberties Union, in response to Trump’s executive order that could weaken legal protections for social media outlets.
“The president has no authority to rewrite a congressional statute with an executive order imposing a flawed interpretation of Section 230,” the ACLU continued, referring to the section of the Communications Decency Act that shields platforms from being held liable for what users publish on them.
Trump had issued the order in a toddler-esque tirade against Twitter for having the audacity to fact-check two of his posts; one claiming that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud (a long-standing conservative mantra used to thwart voting rights) and the other that the state of California will send mail-in ballots to “anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.”
Twitter is based in San Francisco, a city with a notorious reputation for having a leftist political and social bent. California Governor Gavin Newsom, an arch foe of Trump, recently issued an order to protect public health in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic while casting their votes in this year’s presidential election.