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Trump Signs Executive Order on Social Media, Claiming to Protect ‘Free Speech’

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The president and his allies have often accused Twitter and Facebook of bias against conservatives, and had resisted taking action until this week, when Twitter fact-checked his own false statements.
President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday to empower federal regulators to crack down on social media companies like Twitter and Facebook and potentially take away the legal protections that shield them from liability for what gets posted on their platforms.
Mr. Trump and his allies have often accused Twitter and Facebook of bias against conservative voices, and the president had been urged for years to take a harder line against the companies. He had resisted until this week, when Twitter fact-checked his own false statements in two posts.
That move by Twitter prompted an outcry from conservatives, who said that the platform should not be able to selectively choose whose statements it is fact-checking.
“We’re here today to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers it has faced in American history,” Mr. Trump told reporters in signing the order in the Oval Office, with William P. Barr, the attorney general, standing nearby.
“They’ve had unchecked power to censure, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences,” Mr. Trump said, saying there was “no precedent” for it. “We cannot allow that to happen, especially when they go about doing what they’re doing.

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