Trump’s Twitter tantrum is a distraction for everyone — including himself – By Emily Stewart (VOX) / May 28 2020
100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, and Trump is worried about a fact-check on Twitter.
There is a lot going on right now, to say the least — a global pandemic, an economic recession, millions of people without jobs, riots over police murdering a black man in Minnesota. And yet, the president is in a tizzy over a label Twitter put on two of his tweets.
President Donald Trump, who has spent recent days online pushing a conspiracy theory about a former staffer of a television host he doesn’t like, has spun into a rage after Twitter for the first time added a fact-check label to two of his tweets that shared misleading information.
In the tweets in question, which Trump posted on Tuesday, he claimed without evidence that there is “no way” that mail-in ballots “will be anything less than substantially fraudulent,” and particularly pinpointed California’s vote-by-mail plans. Twitter added a label to Trump’s tweets, encouraging users to “get the facts” about mail-in ballots and pointing them to more information. (Recode’s Shirin Ghaffary has the full breakdown on the fact-check drama.)
And then, all hell broke loose.
The president accused Twitter of interfering in the 2020 presidential election and of stifling free speech. He’s continued to rail against the company since and is now threatening to “strongly regulate” or close down social media companies. He signed an executive order on Thursday that will attempt to allow regulators to go after Facebook, Google, and Twitter for how they handle content posted on their platforms. He and other Republicans are specifically targeting Section 230, a part of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that acts as a shield and a sword for internet platforms. They’re generally not liable for the content posted on their platforms (the shield), and they can police their platforms however they like (the sword). Now Mark Zuckerberg is weighing in. So is Sen. Josh Hawley. And a bunch of other people.