Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Trump weighs draft order targeting Google, FB

Trump weighs draft order targeting Google, FB

Back in August, President Trump tweeted: "Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices".

The document reportedly instructs antitrust authorities to "thoroughly investigate whether any online platform has acted in violation of the antitrust laws". The company said Thursday it would decrease the amount of direct, on-site assistance it gives to political campaigns, which President Donald Trump's team used to boost his campaign, Bloomberg reported. A White House spokesperson said the draft hasn't been formally introduced to the administration's policy-making process, meaning there's a possibility the order was leaked intentionally as a way of gauging the public reaction to the thereof.

Last month, Trump stepped up his attacks on big tech companies, warning them to be "careful", and slamming what he called "rigged" internet search results. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg faced questions about that in Senate hearings earlier this month.

But the political attacks morphed into a new, real threat of stinging regulation earlier this month, when the Justice Department announced it would gather state attorneys general on September 25 to discuss the tech industry, its filtering practices online and the implications for antitrust.

"Because of their critical role in American society, it is essential that American citizens are protected from anti=competitive acts by dominant online platforms". If signed by the president, it would task federal agencies - including the independent Justice Department - to "investigate/and or prosecute" companies that use their "market power in a way that harms consumers".

Ripple (XRP) and Ethereum (ETH) see Red After week long run
The company has struck deals with various high-profile financial institutions, including Santander and American Express. It is usually not possible to buy alternative cryptocurrencies such as XRP directly using US dollars.

Neither the National Economic Council nor the Office of Science and Technology Policy is responsible for the document, according to the Post. Trump has often ordered aides to write executive orders that were later deemed unworkable, but another senior White House official said he had no knowledge of this one. The Executive Order is in the preliminary stage and other government agencies have not yet taken a look at it. As well as improving account security and verification for political groups, Facebook said in a blog on Monday that it will be "detecting and removing fake accounts, working to prevent the spread of false news, and setting a new standard for political and issue ads transparency".

Growing movements on the right and the left argue that companies including Google and Facebook engage in anti-competitive behavior.

Reached this weekend, Lowe did not address whether he wrote or commissioned the executive order.

"Antitrust is about competition", he explained, but that involves business, not the marketplace of ideas.

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