President Donald Trump is reportedly planning on signing an executive order about social media. Though there are no details beyond that, the news was announced by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany while aboard Air Force One on Wednesday, according to Reuters White House Correspondent Jeff Mason.
The announcement comes after Trump has grown increasingly critical of Twitter after the social media platform put a fact-checking disclaimer on two of his tweets. The POTUS posted the tweets on Tuesday, claiming that mail-in voting would mean that "mailboxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged [and] even illegally printed out [and] fraudulently signed." Several prominent Republicans were first quick to condemn the measure, though others argued it didn't go far enough, particularly after the president's repeated false claims regarding the spread of coronavirus.
There's some assumption that the executive order will pertain to the 24-year-old Communications Decency Act put in place to shield tech companies from lawsuits. First passed in 1996, the act protects website domain owners from being liable for what users post. It also takes in their effort to police the content on their sites in good faith. The statute has come under fire again recently, both from conservatives and liberals in light of tech's ubiquitous presence within the political news cycle.
Subsequent reports have indicated that the Federal Communications Commission was not consulted on the decision, which means the upcoming executive order hasn't been vetted through the necessary agencies. Politico noted that Trump had previously drafted an executive order back in August that would require both the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission to monitor and police social media activity, which came after some steady outcry claiming that platforms like Twitter and Facebook were censoring conservative viewpoints, despite evidence.
The call for mail-in ballots has grown in recent weeks, as voters are increasingly wary of heading out to the polls in November in the middle of a global pandemic. Trump previously spoke out against mail-in voting back in April, "because I think a lot of people will cheat with mail-in voting." He added that he thinks "people should vote with ID, voter ID."