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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Trump is wrong about social media, but should Twitter be the arbiter of truth?

President Trump holds up a copy of the New York Post on Thursday.
President Trump holds up a copy of the New York Post on Thursday before signing an executive order aimed at curbing protections for social media companies.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: President Trump’s attempt to stifle criticism and blame others for his misdeeds and lies threatens the internet platforms used by millions of Americans.

His executive order seeks to eliminate the 1996 congressional protections for Twitter, Facebook and other platforms enacted to promote free expression. He claims the law allows internet platforms to restrict only comments and tweets that are “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable.”

I guess he assumes that his tweets don’t fall into any of those categories.

Contrary to Twitter commenting on Trump’s tweets, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg contends (rightly) that “Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.” I would like to think that most Americans can determine for themselves when someone is lying. We don’t need some self-appointed corporate arbiter to determine that for us.

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Let people make their comments. Newspapers have plenty of opportunities to shine the light of truth on those comments if necessary.

Ken Goldman, Beverly Hills

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To the editor: I don’t get Trump’s reasoning on social media’s legal shield.

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If he tries to remove their shield, it would only force them to pull any posting of anything that could be libelous, which they would have the right to do.

Trump could lose millions of followers on Twitter with the stroke of his pen.

Richard H. Smith, Cerritos

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To the editor: We are in the middle of a pandemic. Millions of people face permanent job loss. We are facing a type of poverty unknown to masses of Americans. Racism has returned to us disguised as a recreational sport.

Yet, Trump plays on Twitter like the emperor Nero is said to have fiddled on the violin during the Great Fire of Rome.

Failure is not pretty, but you have to look at it to find a solution. Trump is not up to the job.

Marcella Hill, Los Angeles


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