- The US is among the worst-hit countries by the Covid-19 pandemic with several active cases and tremendous death rates so far.
- Despite the US dealing with severe issues, Trump got involved in a spat with social media giant Twitter over his posts being tagged for fact-checking.
- The President signed an executive order against social media companies seeking amendment in Section 230 law providing liability protections to these companies.
- Twitter remained unaffected and Facebook distanced itself from the fight.
- Ignoring US threats, China went ahead with new powers over Honk Kong.
During Covid-19 pandemic, the US is going through a lot. It is among the worst-impacted countries amid the coronavirus crisis. The US President has a lot of severe issues to take care of, including economic recession, riots, people losing their jobs due to the ongoing virus crisis, and the increasing casualties due to Covid-19.
That said, many are questioning the timing of Mr President's getting all out against the social giants. US President Donald Trump had lashed out on social media giant Twitter when the latter applied fact checks to two of his tweets. As per Mr Trump, the editorial decision by the Company constitutes political activism.
US President Donald Trump intensified his stand by signing an executive order against social media companies like Twitter and Facebook, challenging the liability protections that served as a foundation for an unfettered speech on the internet.
Mr Donald Trump has threatened the companies that the tagging will cost them their legal protections for what is posted on their platforms.
The order is a proposal of amendment in Section 230 law, and it directs executive branch agencies comprising the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission to find out whether it is possible to place new rules to the social media companies.
Image source: Twitter
The President got so irked with the fact that the Company tagged fact checks on his tweet that now he is accusing them of interfering with the 2020 presidential election and of stopping free speech.
Apart from signing the executive order, Trump is also threatening prominent social media companies that now either the companies will be closed down or regulated strongly. The order he signed on Thursday (28 may 2020) , will allow regulators to go not only just after Twitter but Facebook and Google as well, about the way these companies handled the content posted on their respective platforms.
As per section 230, which is part of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, the social media platforms can guard their platforms as they like without being accountable for the content posted on their platforms. Mr Trump and other Republicans are seeking an amendment to section 230.
Also, Twitter has faced a lot of objection in the past for not flagging or even deleting presidential tweets. If an ordinary user posts inappropriate content, the Company suspends their account, but presidents always came in the Company's privileged category.
However, now when Twitter finally tagged Trump's post with warnings, the President did not like it. His posts were condemning about the possibility of fraud when ballots go by mail.
Twitter remains unaffected by Trump's threat, continues fact-checks.
After being dragged in the political allegations, Twitter has not reacted to Trump's signing the order or threatening social media companies and once again tagged fact-checks on a Chinese official on his claims about the origin of coronavirus.
There were two posts from March this year by China's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian which Twitter has tagged. Both these tweets questions about whether the virus originated in the US rather than China.
The tags are given at the base of these tweets with text written 'Get the facts about COVID-19'. By clicking on the link, the user gets directed to other tweets about Covid-19 origin.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg dissociated Facebook from Twitter and Trump fight
Image source: Facebook
The fight started with Twitter tagging the President's post, and Mr Trump is now behind all these tech giants that includes of Twitter, Facebook, and Google. However, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg distanced Facebook from the Twitter-Trump clash.
He cited that Facebook has a different policy than Twitter. Both the social media platforms remove the content if it violates their terms of service; however, Facebook strongly favours free expression by giving people a voice.
Facebook does tag the misleading posts, but it spares posts by politicians. Also, the Company's fact-checking are outsourced to media partners, and it takes no stance itself.
Before the Twitter-Trump controversy, Facebook has been more aggressive on removing any misleading content about the coronavirus. The Company has removed a Covid-19 related post from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, 2 months ago.
China ignores US threats and goes ahead with new powers over Honk Kong
Despite, the US being against this and continuously warning China of harsh consequences, China has approved controversial new security laws on Thursday.
Ever since the pandemic has begun, the US and China have been exchanging scathing remarks with each other. It started with the US accusing China of not being able to control the virus and let it destroy the US and other countries.
However, the Honk Kong issue took the tension to another level. The rising tension between the most prominent economies is disturbing the market benchmarks from around the world.
US presidential election is only six months away, and Mr Trump accusing Twitter of interfering with the election has already created a stage for the political spat. However, it will be exciting to see how long this allegation could be dragged in the political arena.
There is no investor left unperturbed with the ongoing trade conflicts between US-China and the devastating bushfire in Australia.
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