President Donald Trump has signed an executive order aimed at social media companies on Thursday, two days after Twitter issued a fact check on two misleading tweets authored by the president.
The executive order lifts liability protection for websites such as Facebook and Twitter, opening the platforms to lawsuits. He did so in response to being fact checked by Twitter.
Trump frequently has used Twitter since before his presidential campaign, and has used the platform to make official announcements. But Trump seemed to suggest he could do without the platform.
"There's nothing I'd rather do than get rid of my whole Twitter account," Trump said on Thursday. But Trump says that he keeps Twitter account as a way to give his spin to the news.
"If we had fair press in this country, I would do this in a heartbeat," Trump said.
"But I'm able to get to I guess 186 million people when you add up all the different accounts, and add Facebook and Instagram," Trump added.
On Tuesday, Twitter flagged several tweets containing misleading information about claims Trump made on Tuesday involving mail-in ballots.
Trump issued an angry response to Twitter's move.
"Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election," Trump tweeted. "They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post. Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"
Twitter has come under fire in recent days for allegedly not applying its conduct standards on tweets sent by the president. The controversy was fueled by a conspiracy pushed by the president about prominent MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and the death of a former congressional staffer. The now deceased congressional staffer worked for Scarborough when he was a member of Congress.
According to an autopsy released from the 2001 death, the staffer died when she fell and hit her head.
The family of the deceased staffer called on Twitter to delete the tweets, claiming that had the tweets been sent by anyone other than the president, they would have been kicked off the platform.