U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to regulate or shut down social media companies for stifling conservative voices, a day after Twitter attached a warning to some of his tweets prompting readers to fact check the president’s claims.
Without offering evidence, Trump again accused such platforms of bias, tweeting: “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”
The president, a heavy user of Twitter with more than 80 million followers, added: “Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”
Trump’s threat to shut down platforms like Twitter Inc and Facebook was his strongest yet within a broader conservative backlash against Big Tech. Shares of both companies fell.
Twitter for the first time added fact-check labels on Trump tweets after he made unsubstantiated claims on Tuesday about mail-in voting, attaching a blue exclamation mark alert to warn his claims were false, having been debunked by factcheckers.
In a pair of early morning posts on Wednesday, the Republican president again blasted mail-in ballots. In a third tweet he threatened “big action” against Twitter.
Twitter and Facebook declined comment on Trump’s tweets.
In recent years Twitter has tightened its policies amid criticism that its hands-off approach had allowed abuse, fake accounts and misinformation to thrive.
Tech companies have been accused of anti-competitive practices and violating user privacy. Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon face antitrust probes by the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general and a U.S. congressional panel.
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