Reports: Trump Preps Social Media Executive Order

According to reporters traveling with the President back from the aborted SpaceX launch in Florida, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany signaled that the President planned to sign an executive order related to social media.  

Related: Hawley Questions Sec. 230 Immunity

That follows the President's tweeted threats that he would "close down" social media over perceived anti-conservative bias and his threat against Twitter that a "Big Action" would follow after Twitter added a fact check link to the President's tweet that mail-in ballots being anticipated by many states during the pandemic were fraud and an attempt to rig the election. 

The President tweeted this early Thursday (May 28):


McEnany did not say just what the order would be, but elsewhere on Wednesday (May 27), Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) wrote Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to suggest the company might not deserve the Section 230 liability shield that social media companies have from liability for how it treats third-party content.  

The section of the Communications Decency Act protects Twitter, Facebook and others from civil liability for both removing controversial content and leaving it up. 

Both Democrats and Republicans have recently questioned whether internet giants need that liability shield, which was created to allow those platforms to grow from the garage and dorm room to the board room.  

“The President is trampling the first amendment by threatening the fundamental free speech rights of social media platforms,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “Conservatives should be very afraid of future administrations following President Trump’s example to bully social media platforms into suppressing political speech. 

“By harassing America’s tech industry, the Administration emboldens foreign governments to control online expression,” he said. "Conservatives have truly lost their way if they believe that the government should dictate the terms of online political speech.” 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.