WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday targeting the bias at social media companies.
"They’ve had unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences," Trump said of social media companies as he signed the order. "There is no precedent in American history for so small a number of corporations to control so large a sphere of human interaction.”
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also explained in advance, "The President will take action so that big tech does not stifle free speech and that the rights of all Americans to speak and tweet is protected."
Conservatives have long argued that companies like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are censoring their messages. The president and Republican lawmakers believe the companies are abusing a statute that allows them to remove 'objectionable' content from their sites.
The order makes it easier for them to be held liable. And it comes on the heels of Twitter applying a fact-checker feature to Trump's tweets about mail-in ballots.
"So ridiculous to see Twitter trying to make the case that mail-in ballots are not subject to fraud," Trump tweeted. "How stupid, there are examples and cases all over the place. Our election process will become badly tainted and laughing stock all over the world."
Trump has even threatened to shut down Twitter and social media platforms that he argues censor conservative voices.
"Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves," Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said. "More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see why behind our actions."
The White House says the order aims to crack down on online platforms that hand-pick speech that Americans access and convey online.