Voter advocacy groups file lawsuit against Trump's social media executive order

Credit: REUTERS/Republican National Convention

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Five non-profits, including three voter advocacy groups, filed a lawsuit on Thursday against President Donald Trump's social media executive order from May, arguing it hurts the rights of voters who receive information through social media about mail-in voting.

This comes after a separate lawsuit was filed in June by the Washington-based Center for Democracy & Technology, backed by large tech companies, which argued that Trump's action violates the First Amendment.

Trump issued an executive order in May against social media companies in an attempt to regulate platforms where he has been criticized, just days after Twitter took the rare step of fact-checking one of his tweets about mail-in voting. Trump threatened to scrap or weaken a law known as Section 230, which protects internet companies from litigation over content posted by users.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration filed a motion asking a court to dismiss the CDT lawsuit, calling it a “profound misunderstanding." The administration argued that the executive order only directs government agencies, and not private companies, to act.

The latest legal challenge was filed by voter advocacy groups Rock The Vote, Voto Latino and Common Cause, along with watchdog groups MapLight and Free Press.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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