US President Donald Trump has threatened to strongly regulate and close down social media platforms in a tweet on Wednesday, because "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. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016," added Trump. "We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happening again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!"
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. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
The First Amendment of the US Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."
Exceptions that are not protected by the First Amendment include hate speech that incites or is likely to incite lawless action, obscenity and harassment.
Trump said on Tuesday that Twitter is interfering in the 2020 presidential election. The social media platform flagged his tweet earlier with a blue exclamation mark, urging users to "get the facts about mail-in ballots."
“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,” Trump tweeted in response. “Twitter is completely stifling free speech, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!” he added.
The tweet in question was not removed from Twitter and was marked with an exclamation point warning of misinformation. How the addition of the misinformation label violates the First Amendment is unclear.
It is unclear what the president wants social media platforms to do about the alleged silencing of conservative voices or if his demands on social media would violate the First Amendment.
Omri Nahmias contributed to this report.