WASHINGTON : US President Donald Trump is expected to order a review of a law that has long protected Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet's Google from being responsible for the material posted by their users, according to a draft executive order and a source familiar with the situation

News of the order comes after Trump threatened to shutdown websites he accused of stifling conservative voices.

It follows a dispute with Twitter after the company decided to tag Trump's tweets about  unsubstantiated claims of fraud in mailing voting with a warning prompting readers to fact check the posts.

The order, a draft copy of which was seen by the Reuters, could change before it is finalised.

The White House, Facebook and Twitter declined to comment. Google's video service YouTube did not immediately comment.

Twitters shares were down over 4 percent in pre-market trade on Thursday. Facebook fell a nearly 2 percent and Google was down 1 percent.

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said on the company's website late Wednesday that the president's tweets ''may mislead people into thinking they don't need to register to get a ballot.

Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves.

Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice, a trade group that counts Twitter, Facebook and Google among its members, said. ''The president is trampling the first amendment by threatening the fundamental free speech rights of social media platforms.''

The administration's move ''emboldens foreign governments to control online expressions,'' he said in a statement on Thursday.

The executive order would call for the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] to propose and clarify regulations under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law largely exempting online platforms legal liability for the material their users post.

Such changes could expose tech companies to more lawsuits. [Reuters]


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