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Trump Accidentally Endorsed a Free Speech Rule that Would Result in His Twitter Account Being Deleted

Trump Accidentally Endorsed a Free Speech Rule that Would Result in His Twitter Account Being Deleted
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Donald Trump and his allies have long railed against the so-called suppression of conservative ideas on popular social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook.

These complaints have only increased since these outlets began pushing back against misinformation and falsehoods peddled by Republicans, particularly regarding lies spread about the virus that's killed over 200 thousand Americans this year.

On Monday evening, the President made his dramatic return to the White House after undergoing treatment for the virus at Walter Reed Medical Center, where he received supplemental oxygen and a cocktail of heavy drugs.

It took Trump less than 24 hours after returning to the residence before he began spreading disinformation about the virus that he himself is still fighting.

Trump once again equated the virus with the flu, not acknowledging that flu deaths don't run the risk of hospitals maximizing capacity. The President himself acknowledged in a February interview with journalist Bob Woodward that the virus was more deadly than even the "most strenuous flus." The tapes of that interview didn't come to light until earlier this summer.

Twitter flagged the tweet as misinformation, which led Trump to call for the repeal of Section 230.

230 is a section in the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which states:

"No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."

It's Section 230 that protects social media outlets like Twitter from liability for what their users post.

Without this legal protection, these private companies would be forced to expand the monitoring of millions of daily posts in order to avoid accountability for potential damages or illegal activity resulting from their users.

On Twitter, Trump has publicly accused people of murder, called for violence against civilians, and spread false information about precautions against the virus.

The repeal of 230 would mean Twitter could be held accountable for all of this—a liability that would almost certainly result in the deletion of Trump's account.

People didn't hesitate to point this out.

Even some of the President's supporters cautioned against the total removal of 230.

Others mocked him.