Pres. Trump signs executive order aimed at curbing protections for social media giants

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FILE – This Nov. 4, 2013, file photo, shows the icon for the Twitter app on an iPhone in San Jose, Calif. Some Twitter users had to do without early Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, after sporadic outages knocked the social media site offline in Europe. Reports of malfunctions began to appear in the U.S. as […]

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday challenging the liability protections that have served as a bedrock for unfettered speech on the internet.

The move comes after he lashed out at Twitter for applying fact checks to two of his tweets.

Trump said the fact checks were “editorial decisions” by Twitter and amounted to political activism. He said it should cost those companies their protection from lawsuits for what is posted on their platforms.

Trump and his allies have long accused the tech giants in liberal-leaning Silicon Valley of targeting conservatives on social media by fact-checking them or removing their posts.

“We’re fed up with it,” Trump said, claiming the order would uphold freedom of speech.

It directs executive branch agencies to ask independent rule-making agencies including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to study whether they can place new regulations on the companies — though experts express doubts much can be done without an act of Congress.

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