What the Trump vs. Twitter battle means for the future of social media

Democracy Now!

May 29, 2020

Twitter has now flagged two of President Trump’s tweets: One for disinformation about voter fraud, and another for glorifying violence — in which he called the Minneapolis protesters decrying the murder of George Floyd “thugs,” and suggested the military could shoot them. In response, the president has issued an executive order which, if upheld in court, could expose social media companies to more lawsuits. “Trump and Twitter are very strange bedfellows. [He] has long extolled Twitter and other social media platforms as his way of so-called ‘reaching the people,'” says Ramesh Srinivasan, professor in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. “What we see is Trump being personally affronted by Twitter, [but] that’s not a violation of freedom of speech.” Srinivasan adds that “Trump has prospered through his use of social media and its attention-hoarding algorithms to basically disinform and misinform people.”

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