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Sound off: Should the government regulate social media?

Executive order lifts liability protection for Facebook, Twitter
wptv-should-the-government-censor-social-media.jpg
Posted at 4:54 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 17:39:49-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order against social media companies after Twitter added a fact-check link to two of his tweets about mail-in voting.

The executive order lifts liability protection for websites such as Facebook and Twitter, opening the platforms to lawsuits.

On Thursday, WPTV headed to downtown Delray Beach to find out what people think about the government regulating social media.

The answers varied with some saying “absolutely not,” while others championed “freedom of speech: that is what we are founded on.”

“I do think that is the way to go unless there is something incredibly powerful that is going to hurt people,” said another person regarding the topic.

Some say Trump's executive order could open social media companies to lawsuits. The order claims powerful social media companies are censoring opinions they disagree with.

Florida Atlantic University professor Kevin Wagner
Florida Atlantic University professor Kevin Wagner said Twitter did not break any laws when fact-checking President Trump.

“My understanding is Twitter hasn’t removed anything he (Trump) has posted,” said Kevin Wagner, a Florida Atlantic University political science professor.

He said Twitter, a private company, didn’t break any laws when they fact-checked the president, but he said it raises a bigger question with social media platforms.

“Do you trust Twitter to do that as an on-going kind of thing?” asked Wagner. “Generally, in the United States, if you don’t like a particular platform, the answer is to use a different platform,” said Wagner.

Comments on WPTV’s Facebook page varied in opinion, with some saying “social media shouldn’t remove my post because they don’t like it” while others asked “when did Twitter and Facebook became fact checkers?”