By Aaron Miller
President Trump has expressed an interesting in working across the with Democrats in regulating social media.
Trump held a press conference a day after the midterm elections that saw the Democrats win a majority in the House of Representatives. Trump has been critical of twitter over their potential influence that give them the power and freedom to choose which parties to silence, and which to give a voice to. There is no overwhelming evidence of twitter exercising bias in favour of any particular groups, but the fact they have the ability to do that has left doubt in the minds of the U.S President and some of his cohorts.
Trump and twitter has no love lust with twitter over suspicions the social media giant does not act professionally. Only this year, twitter’s legal and policy chief Vijaya Gadde claimed the company will always enforce its rules, and does not offer “a blanket exception for the president or anyone else”. American’s who object to Trump’s policies have on a number of times called for the president’s account to be deleted over controversial comments he has been accused of making.
Trump is a big advocate of free speech, he is not one for holding back. Yet, twitter, who have recently been under fire for its slow response to complaints of harassment and hateful messages, have felt the need to monitor Trump twitter account closely.
Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, is on record for admitting getting a notification every time Trump sends a tweet. President Trump has the fresh task of working with the Democrats after their shock win in the midterm elections, and had first identified twitetr and facebook as the social media platform he wants to regulate, alongside the Democrats.
“Believe it or not, I’m really one that really likes free speech,” Trump told reporters. “A lot of people don’t understand that. When you start regulating, a lot of bad things can happen. But I would certainly talk to the Democrats if they want to do that. And I think they do want to do that.” The Democrats and the Republicans are different in their political orientations, but they will have to find common ground in some areas for a successful delivery of power.
Some issues will have to be debated in Congress. Ever since allegations of malicious interference with social media platforms in influencing the 2016 U.S elections, Congress have been looking into regulations of Facebook, Twitter and Google. The recent violations of twitter’s policies involving the mail bomber, and the social media’s shamed failure to address it on time ha led to the renewed commitment for Trump to regulate twitter and ensure it operate’s fairly and efficiently in all respects.
Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., has proposed several options to regulate social media companies and stop the spread of disinformation, including enacting privacy regulations, similar to those being imposed in Europe.
Trump has said a balancing act between protecting free speech and finding adequate legal boundaries for social media companies will be necessary. Twitter will be expected to take more responsibility to ensure its platform is not accessed or abused by malicious outsiders.