Yeah, That’s Probably an Ad: Trump vs. Twitter, and Where the Feud Is Headed

Can the president follow through on threats to regulate social media?

Looking ahead on Yeah, That's Probably an Ad.
Looking ahead on Yeah, That's Probably an Ad.
Adweek, Getty Images

As civil unrest was percolating last week, President Donald Trump posted a tweet that escalated both the level of national tension and the fraying relationship between the president and his preferred platform, Twitter.

Twitter had already taken the unprecedented step of adding fact-checking information around two of Trump’s earlier tweets about mail-in voting, and the move had infuriated the president. But when he tweeted about protests, saying in part “when the looting stars, the shooting starts,” Twitter essentially locked the post from engagement and added a warning note that it “violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence.”

Soon after, Trump threatened to regulate social media platforms by removing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects networks from liability for the messages posted there.

Twitter’s resistance to Trump’s demands has also highlighted a growing divide between its political policies and those of tech giant Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s stance on not altering, flagging or correcting Trump’s posts led some employees to stage a virtual walkout on Monday. (And it’s notable where some Facebook staffers posted their criticisms: Twitter.)

On this week’s episode of Yeah, That’s Probably an Ad, we talk with two Adweek colleagues who’ve been covering the president’s conflicts with social media and the mainstream news media.

This week’s panel includes Scott Nover, Adweek platforms reporter, TVNewser editor A.J. Katz, David Griner, Adweek creative and innovation editor and Jess Zafarris, Adweek audience development editor.

You can listen and subscribe via Apple Podcasts, on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also stream the full episode below:

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