Trump signs executive order targeting Twitter

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a signed executive order to advance construction of the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House in Washington January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

President of the United States, Donald Trump has signed an executive order aimed at removing some of the protection given to social media platforms.

The President has accused social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter of stifling conservative voices. The order comes after Twitter appended fact-check labels to two of his tweets this week.

Under a 1996 law, sites like Twitter are protected from lawsuits if they block posts they believe to be obscene, violent “or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected”.

But the executive order argues that this immunity should no longer apply if a social network edits posts, such as by adding a warning or a label.

It also says “deceptive” blocking, including removing a post for reasons other than those described in a website’s terms of service, should not be protected.

Twitter and other social media platforms strongly condemned the executive order, and it is expected to face legal challenges.