Lisa Cylar Barrett, Director of Policy at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s Executive Order targeting social media by limiting their protections from legal liability:
“Today’s Executive Order is yet another abuse of power by President Trump. He does not have the authority to rewrite laws – only Congress holds that power. Yet, through his Executive Order, the president is essentially issuing a threat to social media companies that his administration will work to change established law in order to ensure that these companies do not hold him accountable for his many falsehoods.
“Trump’s erroneous claims about voting by mail serve no other purpose than to stoke fears among the electorate and attempt to suppress the vote in advance of the presidential election. Twitter’s response to Trump’s recent tweets, while not perfect, was a step in the right direction to stop the proliferation of misinformation, which runs rampant across social media. The action taken by Twitter speaks to the important role all of us — including every social media platform and each of our elected officials — must play to ensure that every registered voter is able to cast a ballot, especially now during a pandemic that threatens the ability of millions of voters to go to their polling locations.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.