Trump signs executive order on social media, U.S. accuses China of blocking flights and demands action
Catch up on the top industries and stocks that were impacted, or were predicted to be impacted, by the comments, actions and policies of President Donald Trump and his administration with this weekly recap compiled by The Fly:
1. EXECUTIVE ORDER ON SOCIAL MEDIA: President Trump signed an executive order on social media companies after he threatened to shut down websites he accused of stifling conservative voices. The order, which said in part that "Twitter [TWTR], Facebook [FB], Instagram, and YouTube [GOOG; GOOGL] wield immense, if not unprecedented, power to shape the interpretation of public events; to censor, delete, or disappear information; and to control what people see or do not see," was signed after Twitter fact checked two of Trump's tweets about unsubstantiated claims of fraud in mail-in voting. The executive order, which will likely be challenged in court, marks the Trump administration's most aggressive effort to take action against social media companies, which he has criticized in the past.
2. TWITTER FACT-CHECKS TRUMP TWEETS: Twitter, for the first time, added fact-checking links to Trump's tweets this week after having put in place policies that many had said were conceived with the President specifically in mind. Trump claimed on Tuesday that mail-in ballots cast in California will be "substantially fraudulent" and result in a "Rigged Election." Twitter later added a link to each of Trump's tweets on Tuesday prompting users to "get the facts about mail-in ballots." Clicking on the link takes users to a Twitter "Moments" page which includes a section titled, "What you need to know."
Using the platform, President Trump also claimed on Tuesday that, "Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election. They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN [T] and the Amazon [AMZN] Washington Post. Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"
Subsequent to labeling his earlier tweets, Twitter said this Trump tweet - "These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts" - violated its policies regarding the glorification of violence "based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today."
Twitted added, "We've taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance. As is standard with this notice, engagements with the Tweet will be limited. People will be able to Retweet with Comment, but will not be able to Like, Reply or Retweet it."
3. PRIVATE COMPANIES NOT 'ARBITERS OF TRUTH': Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called out Twitter for fact checking a tweet from President Trump, telling Fox News' Dana Perino that privately-owned digital platforms should not act as the "arbiter of truth." "We have a different policy than, I think, Twitter on this," Zuckerberg told "The Daily Briefing" in an interview. "I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online," he added. "Private companies probably shouldn't be, especially these platform companies, shouldn't be in the position of doing that."
Meanwhile, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended the platform's decision to fact check and place warnings on two of President Trump's tweets this week. Dorsey said via Twitter that, "Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that's me. Please leave our employees out of this. We'll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make. This does not make us an 'arbiter of truth.' Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions."
4. U.S. ACCUSES CHINA OF BLOCKING FLIGHTS: The U.S. government has accused the Chinese government of making it impossible for U.S. airlines to resume service to China and ordered four Chinese air carriers to file flight schedules with the U.S. government, Reuters' David Shepardson reported. The administration of President Donald Trump stopped short of imposing restrictions on Chinese air carriers but said talks with China had failed to produce an agreement, the author notes. Publicly traded companies in the space include Alaska Air (ALK), American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), JetBlue (JBLU), Southwest (LUV), Spirit Airlines (SAVE) and United Airlines (UAL).
5. LEAVING WHO, HONG KONG TO LOSE EXEMPTIONS: President Trump said during a press conference Friday afternoon that the U.S. will begin terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization, with the president alleging that the WHO is "completely controlled" by China. The president added that the nation will suspend entry to the U.S. of certain foreign nationals from China and that working groups will study the practices of U.S.-listed Chinese companies. Trump also said most of Hong Kong's policy exemptions to be eliminated "with few exceptions."
"Week in Review" is The Fly's weekly recap of its recurring series of "Trump Effect" exclusive stories.