Trump campaign against Twitter and Co

Trump attacks Twitter employee while defending fact Checked
Trump campaign against Twitter and Co.

Donald Trump is one of the most intense users of Twitter and is now embarking on an open confrontation with the online service and other social media. How does that fit together? There is a lot going on in the US President’s world.

Twitter Comes Under Attack From Trump's Supporters

Donald Trump says Twitter and Co. On Thursday (local time), the US President signed a decree with which he wants to regulate social networks more. He accuses them of censoring disagreeable views and thus endangering freedom of expression and democracy - after Twitter had for the first time subjected a tweet of the president to a fact check. How exactly Trump wants to put platforms in the net in their place is unclear so far. US Attorney General William Barr is tasked with drafting more detailed legislation. Trump has already said he expects charges against his advance. The Democrats consider the action to be Trump’s maneuver to divert attention from his failures in the Corona pandemic.

The decision aims at the comprehensive legal protection of online services - a cornerstone that has made Facebook, Twitter and Youtube possible in their present form. Trump wants a clause known as "Section 230" checked. According to this regulation, online services are not liable for content published by users. At the same time, this allows platforms to take action against certain content or users.

Barr stressed that the clause should not be abolished but regulated, and that it had been strained far beyond its original purpose. Look at various legislative options. The decree also calls on ministries and federal authorities to review their spending on advertising and marketing on online platforms.

For Trump, it’s about protecting freedom of expression and democracy

Trump said it was about protecting freedom of expression and democracy. Large online platforms would have "uncontrolled power" to censor and restrict interaction. They were not neutral platforms on which everyone could express their opinion, but they tried to suppress views that did not correspond to their political point of view. "We cannot allow this to happen," he warned.This censorship and bias is a threat to freedom. "The President said that he expected complaints against his actions, but was determined to do so."

The trigger for Trump’s move is a confrontation with Twitter. On Tuesday, the German News Service had for the first time subjected a tweet of the president to a fact check. In it, Trump had claimed that postal voting encouraged electoral fraud, which, according to the fact check, is misleading. Trump then accused Twitter of interfering in the US presidential election in November. At the signing of the decree, he described the fact check of Twitter as "inappropriate" and political activism.

Trump’s plans are ironic: he uses social media such as Facebook and Twitter extensively for his purposes and has spent a lot of money on social media advertising during the election campaign. As President, he has made Twitter his main communication channel, where he sends messages to the public on a daily basis - usually hated by him - in the traditional media. He now has more than 80 million followers there and is one of the - in terms of reach - most successful Twitterers worldwide.

I love Twitter"

In 2012, Trump wrote in a tweet:  I love Twitter … It’s like owning your own newspaper - without the losses. "Meanwhile, his affection seems somewhat clouded. Trump said again on Thursday that if he could and legally possible, he would like to close the platform. But Twitter is not likely to lose the president as one of its most avid users. When asked why he didn’t just delete his Twitter account, Trump said,  If we had a fair press in this country, I would do it right away. "Nothing he’d rather do, Trump pushed. But in view of all the false stories about him, he uses this channel -  so I can refute fake news".

Trump’s spokeswoman, Kayleigh Mcenany, said that if anyone had to undergo a fact check, it was the media. When asked whether she claimed that the president would never spread falsehoods, she said:  His intention is always to give the American people truthful information. "How successful he is in implementing this intention", she left open.

Trump’s decree met with fierce criticism shortly before it was signed. The civil rights organization ACLU wrote on Twitter:  As much as he may wish, Donald Trump is not the president of Twitter. "Such a regulation is a blatant and unconstitutional threat to punish social media that displeased the President.

The chairman of the US House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, accused Trump of "desperately distracting" Trump from his failures in the corona crisis. On Wednesday evening, the US had exceeded the gloomy 100,000 fatalities in the wake of the pandemic - a number that should forever cast a shadow over Trump’s term of office a few months before applying for a second term in November.

As expected, criticism also came from the ranks of the affected online services. Facebook is skeptical about fact checks of politicians' statements other than Twitter. But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also expressed concern about Trump’s plans. He told Fox News:  A government that chooses to censor a platform because it is concerned about censorship - that doesn’t seem to me to be the right reflex.

Previous Post Next Post