white house south lawn

Erik Cox Photography/Shutterstock (Licensed)

Executive order draft from Trump would crack down on tech companies

The order could target companies like Facebook and Google.


Ellen Ioanes

Layer 8

Posted on Sep 23, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 5:51 am CDT

The White House has a draft of an executive order demanding that federal antitrust and law enforcement agencies look into the practices of tech giants Google and Facebook, among others, claiming that the tech companies are biased against conservative voices.

The draft, which was obtained by Bloomberg and the Washington Post, asks that antitrust agencies “thoroughly investigate whether any online platform has acted in violation of the antitrust laws.”

The document is intended to address alleged bias in online platforms. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg faced questions about that in Senate hearings earlier this month. It is very much in the draft stages, a White House aide told Bloomberg, and has not been shown to other government agencies. Deputy White House Press Secretary Lindsey Walters told Bloomberg in an email that the document is not the product of any official White House policy process.

Three White House aides have denied authorship of the draft, which leaked just a few days before Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to meet with state attorneys general regarding tech companies’ practices. The meeting was set up to help Sessions determine whether there is an antitrust case to be made against some of the companies.

Neither the National Economic Council nor the Office of Science and Technology Policy is responsible for the document, according to the Post.

Tech companies have been concerned, according to the Washington Post, that President Trump could try to take action against them, based on his disdain for companies like Twitter and Facebook and what they say are baseless claims that they are censoring conservative voices.

While the majority of Americans think that there is some form of censorship occurring in large tech companies, even right-wing organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council worry that the executive order could interfere with First Amendment rights.

H/T Bloomberg

Share this article
*First Published: Sep 23, 2018, 3:02 pm CDT