Trump signs order targeting social media giants' legal protections

Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr in the Oval Office shortly before the US president signed an executive order targeting social media companies. (Reuters)
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Updated 28 May 2020

Trump signs order targeting social media giants' legal protections

  • President lashed out at Twitter for applying fact checks to two of his tweets

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump escalated his war on social media companies, signing an executive order Thursday challenging the liability protections that have served as a bedrock for unfettered speech on the internet.
Still, the move appears to be more about politics than substance, as the president aims to rally supporters 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, who rely heavily on Twitter to verbally flog their foes, 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.
 


Northeast Indian state bans sale of dog meat amid protest

Updated 5 min 45 sec ago

Northeast Indian state bans sale of dog meat amid protest

  • State government banned all commercial import and trading of dogs and also the sale of dog meat, both cooked and uncooked

GAUHATI, India: Authorities in India’s northeastern state of Nagaland have banned the sale of dog meat and halted the import and trading of dogs to be used for food, officials said Saturday.
The remote Christian-majority state’s Chief Secretary Temjen Toy said in a tweet that the state government banned all commercial import and trading of dogs and also the sale of dog meat, both cooked and uncooked. The move followed an appeal earlier in the week by Indian lawmaker Maneka Gandhi, who urged the Nagaland government to act.
Gandhi’s appeal came after she received fresh photographs of the trade from a Nagaland-based animal protection group. The appeal led to more than 125,000 people writing to the Nagaland government to urge the banning of the dog trade and the sale of dog meat.
“This is a major turning point in ending the cruelty in India’s hidden dog meat trade,” animal rights advocacy group Humane Society International said in a statement.
The group estimates that up to 30,000 dogs a year are smuggled into Nagaland, where they are sold in live markets. The group also says dogs are regularly beaten to death with wooden clubs.
Authorities praised the movement.
“This is a progressive move. In this day and age, positive social media activism and advocacy has an enormous impact on policymakers. Congrats and thanks to all,” Abu Metha, an adviser to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, the state’s highest elected official, said in a tweet.
Apart from Nagaland, thousands of dogs each year are illegally captured for consumption from the streets or stolen from homes in other northeast Indian states, including Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh, rights groups say.