Dem lawmakers demand Twitter suspend Trump’s account over election tweets
A number of Democrat lawmakers are demanding that Twitter suspend President Trump’s account and that none of his tweets should be allowed to be seen until all ballots have been counted in the 2020 presidential election. President Trump has been very vocal on Twitter concerning the election, voter fraud, and that he feels he has won the race.
Trump’s tweeted comments Wednesday complained about Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s lead among mail-in ballots and proceeded to claim victory for himself in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and North Carolina before counting was finished. According to Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly, Trump has been spreading “pure disinformation.”
“Suspend his account, @Twitter,” Connolly wrote. “Valid votes are being counted. This is America, not Russia.” He was incensed by a Trump tweet posted earlier Wednesday that suggested his lead in key states had begun to “magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted.”
Suspend his account, @Twitter. This is pure disinformation. Valid votes are being counted.
This is America, not Russia. https://t.co/6XuKMxWagg
— Rep. Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) November 4, 2020
Rhode Island’s Rep. David Cicilline, chair of the House antitrust subcommittee, called for Twitter to step in against Trump for “posting lies and misinformation at a breathtaking clip.” He added, “It is a threat to our democracy and should be suspended until all the votes are counted.”
Right now, the President's Twitter account is posting lies and misinformation at a breathtaking clip. It is a threat to our democracy and should be suspended until all the votes are counted.
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) November 4, 2020
Other Democrats such as Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) haven’t gone as far as requesting a suspension, but have criticized the president for spreading election misinformation online.
“Counting votes is not ‘finding’ votes,” Barragán tweeted at the president Wednesday. “Maybe you should learn how the election system works instead of lying/misleading by tweet all the time.”
.@realdonaldtrump: counting votes is not “finding” votes.
Maybe you should learn how the election system works instead of lying/misleading by tweet all the time. #CountEveryVote
— Nanette D. Barragán (@RepBarragan) November 4, 2020
Twitter labeled the Trump tweet soon after it was posted, calling the president’s claims “disputed” and warning that it could mislead users about the electoral process. The restriction bars users from sharing the post without adding context.
The move marked at least the fourth time on Wednesday that Twitter took those steps against a tweet posted or shared by President Trump. In two separate tweets, Trump claimed that officials “are trying to STEAL the Election” and “working hard” to make pro-Trump votes in Pennsylvania and other battleground states vanish.
High-level Democrats, including Democratic vice-presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris, have called for Twitter to block the president in the past and are renewing their demands concerning the social media giant and Trump.
Look let's be honest, @realDonaldTrump's Twitter account should be suspended.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 1, 2019
While Twitter has labeled and restricted Trump’s tweets, they have not suspended his account yet. However, they did tighten their policies on censoring misinformation in the runup to Election Day.
“When people attempt to retweet a tweet with a misleading information label, [they would] see a prompt pointing them to credible information before [being] able to amplify it further,” Twitter stated Monday.
“If we see content inciting interference with the election, encouraging violent action or other physical harms, we may take additional measures, such as adding a warning or requiring the removal of Tweets,” the company added.
VICTORY for President @realDonaldTrump in PENNSYLVANIA ‼️
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) November 4, 2020
Twitter also said they would label or remove tweets that falsely claim a win for any candidate and add warnings on misleading tweets from U.S. political figures or U.S.-based accounts with more than 100,000 followers.
Posts by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and Eric Trump claiming that President Trump won in Pennsylvania have been labeled by Twitter.
“Official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted,” the label read, with a link to a paged of verified results.
“Twitter has a critical role to play in protecting the integrity of the election conversation, and we encourage candidates, campaigns, news outlets and voters to use Twitter respectfully and to recognize our collective responsibility to the electorate to guarantee a safe, fair and legitimate democratic process this November,” the company stated.
Six of the president’s 14 tweets and retweets on Nov. 4 have been labeled or hidden. One claimed Democrats were fixing the election in favor of Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
“Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled,” wrote Trump. “Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!”
President Trump has feared voter fraud is taking place from the beginning. Democrats say the claims of voter fraud and election victory are false and should not be spread on a social media platform such as Twitter.