ACLU Comment on Trump Social Media Executive Order

May 28, 2020 8:00 pm

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WASHINGTON – President Trump today issued an executive order targeting social media companies after Twitter fact-checked his tweet about voting by mail.

Below is comment from ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Kate Ruane in response:

“This order is a direct threat at Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms that if they engage in speech that displeases the president, he will unleash the power and resources of the federal government against them. The First Amendment forbids such blatant, thin-skinned efforts to stifle expression. President Trump has it backwards: The First Amendment protects us from the government, not the government from us.

“Congress and the administration would do well to remember that Section 230 is critical to protecting free speech online. The law allows platforms to publish all sorts of content without fear of being held liable for it. That includes, as Donald Trump appears to have forgotten, his own tweets — even when they include lies. It also includes the videos, photos, and tutorials each of us is relying on to stay connected today.

“We will be monitoring closely how federal agencies choose to enforce this order, if at all.”

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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.