Trump Prepares Attack on Facebook
WASHINGTON – September 25, 2018
If we trust the rumors spreading over the White House and Capital Hill, President Trump might soon sign a law completely changing the rules of the game for the most powerful American social networks and web search engines, such as Facebook and Google. Yet, White House representatives are already beginning to distance themselves from it, since this law might be extremely unpopular among the public.
Why? Simply because by “instructing federal antitrust agencies to open probes into the practices of tech giants like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc.” President Trump is challenging the basics of the American governmental system and interfering with the Justice Department.
“It is less an executive order than it is part of the ongoing ritual maiming of tech that has consumed Washington for over a year,” Larry Downes, project director at the Georgetown Center for Business said.
If signed, he added, the order would mean nothing to the statutorily independent Federal Trade Commission, which shares responsibility with the Justice Department for antitrust enforcement.
The order is in its preliminary stages now. The draft of it, obtained by Bloomberg, contains notes in red on possible changes to the text.
One White House official said it hadn’t yet been run past other government agencies, and a White House spokeswoman, Lindsay Walters, said it wasn’t even a product of an official policy-making process. However, if the law is signed and implemented, that would mean serious escalation of Trump’s conflict against social media groups.
This might also be a feature of a campaign against the network launched by President Trump about a month ago, on August 28th. During the Oval Office meeting with journalists, Trump stated:
“I think Google is really taking advantage of a lot of people… Google search results for 'Trump News' shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media…”
At that meeting Trump also criticized Facebook and Twitter for spreading of “fake news.” The most biggest battles between Mr. Trump and these social networks has likely yet to come.