Twitter “fact checks” President Trump’s tweet
For the first time in his presidency, Twitter officially slapped a fact-check label on two of President Trump’s tweets.
The labels appear on Trump’s tweets that claim mail-in ballots would result in rigged elections. The Twitter label says, “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” and redirects users to news articles about Trump’s claim.
Twitter spokeswoman Katie Rosborough said the tweets contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.
Trump immediately took to Twitter to express his frustrations.
“.@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 and the Amazon Washington Post,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”
On Wednesday, the president took his response to Twitter a step further suggesting he would strongly regulate or even close down social media companies before he allows them to silence conservative voices.
“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016,” Trump tweeted.
“We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that…happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!” Trump continued.
The president can’t regulate or close the companies on his own. That would require action by Congress or the Federal Communications Commission.
Some Republican members of Congress who have alleged bias on the part of tech companies have questioned whether platforms like Twitter and Facebook should continue to enjoy the liability protections as “platforms” or be treated more like publishers, which can face lawsuits over content.
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley told Fox News that big tech gets a huge handout from the federal government but they get this special immunity from suits and from liability that’s worth billions of dollars to them every year.
“Why are they getting subsidized by federal taxpayers to censor conservatives, to censor people critical of China,” said Hawley.
Trump has always spoken out against social media companies’ bias toward conservatives. Last year, he held a social media summit at the White House with conservatives who have had content blocked on Twitter or Facebook.
Many political strategists credit Trump’s 2016 victory to his ability to be able to communicate directly with voters via social media which allowed him to avoid bias from the main stream media. The new Twitter labels would change that ability to take his message straight to the people.
Twitter has not yet responded to Trump’s tweets on Wednesday.
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