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International

Trump threatens social media after Twitter fact-checks him

May 28, 2020 05:38 AM

COURTESY TOI MAY 28

Trump threatens social media after Twitter fact-checks him
Chidanand.Rajghatta@timesgroup.com

Washington:

US President Trump on Wednesday threatened to shut down social media after Twitter for the first time censured him mildly, adding a fact check notification to two of his tweets in which the president made unsubstantiated claimed about widespread mailin voting fraud in US elections.


The mild reprimand from Twitter enraged Trump, who first accused the platform of “interfering in the 2020 presidential election” because it fact-checked him. He then accused the platform of “completely stifling free speech”, which, he warned, “I, as President, will not allow it to happen.”

Amid ridicule from critics who reminded him that free speech was guaranteed by the constitution and not by the government or the president, Trump ramped up his threat on Wednesday, warning, “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down... We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that. Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”

“Twitter has now shown that everything we have been saying about them (and their other compatriots) is correct. Big action to follow!” Trump tweeted three hours later, without specifying what the action would be. There was no immediate reaction from Twitter or other social media companies.

The issue that led to Trump targeting Twitter was a pair of tweets on Tuesday in which the president raised the issue of potential voter fraud after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an effort to expand mail-in voting in California during Covid-19 pandemic.

“There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone... ....living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!” Trump tweeted.

“Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” Twitter said in an alert it appended to these tweets.

 

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