May 6, 2019 - Technology

Tech's trouble with Trump's tweets


Once again, President Trump's tweets are causing headaches for the tech industry.

What's happening: The tweeter-in-chief has been on his latest tear since Facebook banned several extremists on Thursday, mostly from the far right.

  • Trump also criticized Twitter for allegedly banning actor James Woods. (Woods' account, seen here, isn't banned, though Twitter did limit his tweeting abilities after the actor posted a tweet that included the hashtag "hangthemall.")

Why it matters: The tech industry has a number of concerns. First, the industry has always sought to be perceived as politically neutral. Second, companies worry what Trump or his agencies might do on the regulatory front, given the drumbeat of vague presidential threats.

Our thought bubble: Staying politically neutral is tough enough, but being seen as neutral might be an impossible task in this era. A better approach — though no less challenging — is to enforce consistent rules for all.

Meanwhile, there are questions for the media on how to report on Trump's tweets without simply amplifying his voice. A study from Media Matters For America found that the mainstream media often repeats misinformation without added context, serving simply to broaden the reach of (and lend credibility to) false information.

Go deeper: Trump retweets far-right extremist banned from Facebook, Instagram

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