Fallout from Twitter’s decision to apply two fact checks and one warning to tweets by President Donald Trump has been as baffling as it is bombastic. Yet even if the president’s executive order is not enforceable it has shone a light on a contentious law that underpins the entire business model of social media platforms.

The executive order calls for a review of federal advertising; for regulators to police social media companies for bias; and a potential revocation of section 230, which stops online platforms being treated like publishers. Spooked investors sent shares in Twitter down 5% in the past week.

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