Trump threatens to close down social media

Donald Trump has relied a lot on Twitter and social media to promote his voice, allowing him to bypass the traditional media.

Twitter has started to highlight false claims by Trump, and now Trump is threatening ” We will strongly regulate, or close them down”.

RNZ: Twitter fact-checks Trump tweet for the first time

Twitter, for the first time, prompted readers to check the facts in tweets sent by US President Donald Trump, warning that his claims about mail-in ballots were false and had been debunked by fact checkers.

The move marked a dramatic shift for the social network, Trump’s primary tool for getting an unfiltered version of his message out to his political base, after years of permissive policies around content on its platform.

The company has been tightening those policies in recent years amid criticism that its hands-off approach had allowed abuse, fake accounts and misinformation to thrive.

No caption.

Trump lashed out at the company in response, accusing it – in a tweet – of interfering in the 2020 presidential election. “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!” he said.

It doesn’t look like it’s stifling free speech at all. Trump’s tweets are still up, unedited. They now just have an additional link to actual facts to counter his false claims.

But Trump, with his usual bullying and bluster, has threatened to regulate or shut down anyone who challenges his bullshit.

And:

It’s Trump’s free choice whether he uses Twitter or not. It would be ridiculous and dangerous for a president to force media to publish whatever he wants to say without any restriction or without challenging his false claims.

It looks like pressure is building on Trump. He is not handling it well.

Leave a comment

47 Comments

  1. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from accountability. And the fact that we can still reading his bullshit on Twitter shows that it’s not stifling his speech.

    Trump’s welcome to leave Twitter if he doesn’t like them fact-checking his lies.

    Reply
    • David

       /  28th May 2020

      Fact checked by a Trump hater with a ultra partisan twitter feed and he relies on CNN. Give me a break.
      Why do Democrats desperately want mail.in voting ?

      Reply
      • Justify tweeting to 80 million people that you’re a victim of censorship.

        Reply
        • Justify tweeting to 80 million people that you’re a victim of censorship on a platform that created special exceptions to its own terms of service so you could never be banned

          Reply
          • Justify tweeting at 80 million people that you’re a victim of censorship on a platform that created special exceptions to its own terms of service so that you—specifically—could never be banned while also threatening to shut down TV stations over political ads you don’t like.

            Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  28th May 2020

          80 million people will make their own judgement as they do on everything political. They don’t need an editorial opinion. Trump’s opponents are free to rebut and refute if they can. That’s how free speech works – odd that the Left need it explained, except that they never wanted free speech and love government propaganda.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  28th May 2020

            “The Left” will include many who don’t need it explained, Al.

            Maybe the Looney Left do, but so probably do the Looney Right – Trump’s target audience – need to have it explained that a media platform hosting a known & proven serial bullshit artist & liar who tells porkies at a rate no other US President could ever hope to match is no doubt perfectly within its rights to include a link to a fact checker.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  28th May 2020

              And Trump is perfectly within his rights to lambast them for doing so.

            • Gezza

               /  28th May 2020

              A win-win then. Everybody who’s unhappy can whine about whatever their viewpoint is on it. 👍🏼

    • Pink David

       /  28th May 2020

      “Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from accountability.”

      I fully agree. In this spirit I look forward to fact checks appearing next to every Trump Russia news article ever produced and a formal apologies from every person who made Trump Russia claims in public, then admitted they had absolutely no evidence for this when put under oath.

      Reply
  2. David

     /  28th May 2020

    Twitter is virtual signaling, they dont want to take him off the platform so will just “fact check” him.
    The fact checker is wrong. NPR study says there is an increase in fraud in mail in ballot. A postman was charged this week after admitting he altered mail.in ballots in North Carolina.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  28th May 2020

      Do they show any evidence to back that up – or just cite that one case. And does Trump trumpeting that it’s widespread match the actual facts?

      Reply
      • David

         /  28th May 2020

        We dont do it here Gezza, I can t think of any proper democracy allowing it for their national elections. Its very insecure you could have Mum fill in everyones voting forms, you can have door knockers “assisting” people, rest homes etc etc.

        Reply
    • Griff.

       /  28th May 2020

      Postman Who Changed Dem Ballot Applications To GOP Was Just Funnin’, Jeez
      Doktor ZoomMay 27, 2020 02:58 PM

      A West Virginia postal carrier has been charged with trying to do election fraud after he altered five absentee ballot requests, changing them from requesting ballots for the state’s upcoming Democratic primary election to Republican. Thomas Cooper, 47, who held a contract to deliver mail in three rural towns (Onego, Riverton, and Franklin, if you’re checking), was charged in federal court with “Attempt to Defraud the Residents of West Virginia of a Fair Election” after admitting in an affidavit that he had changed the ballots in April. The state had sent out absentee ballot request forms to all registered voters because of concerns the coronavirus outbreak would interfere with the state’s June primaries.

      https://www.wonkette.com/postal-carrier-who-tampered-with-absentee-ballot-applications-was-only-funnin-jeez

      This is all that comes up for North Carolina.
      North Carolina GOP Operative Faces New Felony Charges That Allege Ballot Fraud

      Prosecutors in North Carolina filed new felony charges against a Republican political operative accused of ballot tampering in a congressional election in 2018.

      Leslie McCrae Dowless was charged Tuesday with two counts of felony obstruction of justice, perjury, solicitation to commit perjury, conspiracy to obstruct justice and illegal possession of absentee ballots, according to a statement by Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.

      The charges relate to the tainted 9th congressional district election last year in which Republican Mark Harris led in the unofficial vote tally by a margin of about 900 votes over Democrat Dan McCready. But the election results were overturned by the state after an investigation into an absentee ballot operation on Harris’ behalf suggested that Dowless had improperly collected and possibly tampered with ballots.

      https://www.npr.org/2019/07/30/746800630/north-carolina-gop-operative-faces-new-felony-charges-that-allege-ballot-fraud

      Anyone notice the pattern?
      Voter fraud by the GOP .

      Reply
      • David

         /  28th May 2020

        Doesnt matter which side the post in ballot is not as secure as turning up in person. Very few countries allow post in voting because they dont deem it secure.
        Of all the things you could have a crack at Trump for this one seems a bit stupid, he is currently accusing a TV host of murdering someone which one would think is more egregious.
        The Twitter hall monitor thinks Trump is a Nazi and has a stream of anti Trump tweets which seems like a dumb person to appoint to administer your fact checking, often a very subjective role.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  28th May 2020

        Griff, I don’t know if you’d find this of use, but if you want to turn a website-hosted image into a hosted .jpg file you can post here (like the Kiwi LRDG truck yesterday), this site lets you upload the image’s url OR an image saved to your computer.

        You don’t need to add meme text, just hit “Generate Meme” button & copy the image page url (the one that ends in .jpg) & then paste it here.

        For yesterday’s truck – the image downloaded was quite small, so I first uploaded it to a free online image enlarger, saved the bigger one, & then uploaded that to imgflip before posting it here. It took, maybe 10 minutes all up, but I had the time.

        You don’t have to join up with imgflip; you can just go there and upload anytime. It’s fast & easy after a short play to figure it out.

        Reply
          • I’d have thought that when it came to it, there wouldn’t be much fraud for practical reasons. Someone would have to steal far more forms than they are likely to get away with before they’d make any real difference unless the seat was very marginal. People would notice that their ballot hadn’t arrived, and someone going along a street opening all the letterboxes would be noticed.

            Someone doing it in a rest home would be very obvious; people in them aren’t silly and the staff would catch on.

            Reply
            • artcroft

               /  28th May 2020

              Very true.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  28th May 2020

              Not hard for party canvassers to knock on doors, have you sent your ballot off, I’ll help you fill it in and mail it for you.

            • They’d have to do it to vast numbers to make it worthwhile and the consequences wouldn’t be worth it. They could knock on an awful lot of doors before they found a mug who’d let them do it. Most people would catch on and make a complaint, I think. I can’t see any party risking it. Ballot fraud is a serious crime, I think.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  28th May 2020

              Go on, it would be a breeze in the poor, semi-literate neighbourhoods. The parties already knock on every door in their target communities and actually do it twice – first to identify sympathetic voters and second on election day to make sure those get to the poll to vote. Much easier just to help them fill out and mail their vote. And no way to detect and prosecute for fraud because it isn’t, merely subtle coercion.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  28th May 2020

              Of course if they also identified opposition voters and lost their papers on the way to the mailbox that would be fraud, but again unlikely to be detected.

      • Pink David

         /  28th May 2020

        “Anyone notice the pattern?
        Voter fraud by the GOP .”

        Griff, so the GOP are highly skilled at voter fraud when the vote is by mail in. That is clear from you insightful analysis.

        Then, why does the Democrat Party want to change to the mail in voting and the GOP are fighting them? Some 3D chess being played here….

        Reply
        • Griff.

           /  29th May 2020

          Griff, so the GOP are highly skilled at voter fraud when the vote is by mail in. That is clear from you insightful analysis.

          ROFL
          That was just pointing out Dave had no idea about what he was gibbering .
          The point is out of 133,000,000 odd voters a few hundred at most are fraudulent.
          It is bullshite From trump for the unthinking idiots who support him .

          There is no large scale voter fraud. Their is wide spread organised voter suppression
          by the GOP to make marginalized people less likely to vote because they are more likely to vote democrat. They do this by enforcing voter id laws they know poor can not comply with and restricting opportunity to vote by reducing polling both numbers and times. Mail in ballots make these attacks on democracy harder to perpetuate.

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  29th May 2020

            “a few hundred at most are fraudulent.”

            In around 12% of elections this is enough to change the result.

            “There is no large scale voter fraud.”

            So you agree there is voter fraud. Nice to know.

            “Mail in ballots make these attacks on democracy harder to perpetuate.”

            I fully support mail voting and simply believe the Republicans should simply mimic all the techniques the Democrats use to the letter.

            Reply
            • Griff.

               /  29th May 2020

              Oh look Dave shows us his right wing math along with the usual standard of illogical gibbering.

              Couple of hundred into 133,000,000 is 0.00015% of votes fraudulent.
              In Dave’s world that means 12 % of elections are corrupted.
              12 % of elections are within 0.00015% ?
              I don’t even need to try to support debunking this to call it as idiotic nonsense.
              In the real world it means Pink Dave just confirmed this .

              Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.

              Notebooks of Lazarus Long.
              R A Heinlein

  3. oldlaker

     /  28th May 2020

    Trump threatening to close Twitter will be as popular as Tracey Martin advocating a sign-in system in NZ for porn.

    Reply
  4. artcroft

     /  28th May 2020

    The American elections are already hardly worth bothering with. Large donors typically select the candidates (Trump being a possible exception). The candidates then select their voters via gerrymandering. Voters then accept whatever s**t comes down the line from the corporate donors. That’s one reason voters turned to Trump.

    Reply
    • artcroft

       /  28th May 2020

      So voting only matters in a handful of counties in a handful of states. The mail in ballots for these swing counties will be micro managed and subject to extreme scrutiny. No chance for large scale fraud.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  28th May 2020

        Scrutiny won’t show how they were coerced when filled in.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  28th May 2020

          Nor will that show up in the reported lack of fraud. Don’t suppose the fact checker noted that?

          Reply
  5. FarmerPete

     /  28th May 2020

    For anyone wishing to use google there are dozens of convictions for voter fraud in the US. Jimmy Carter first warned about it. Unlike here voter laws are very loose. If you wish to vote here you must be on a role, and there are rules about who is entitled to be on an electoral role. The current scrap in theUS is about intent of the Dems to get illegal immigrants to vote. They began this campaign by providing drivers licences which is accepted for voter I’d purposes.
    This is a big issue. Actually Trump didn’t lie only last week a Democratic judge wasn’t convicted for just this offence. Opening up with next to no controls is very risky. So in this instance Twitters fact checkers were just plain wrong,
    Final point, He didn’t threatened to close down twitter he threaten consequences for their censure ship of conservative speach. Two different things.

    Reply
    • David

       /  28th May 2020

      Also they like illegal immigration as they usually land in Democrat areas and while the cant vote they are counted for federal funding and congressional seats.

      Reply
    • FarmerPete

       /  29th May 2020

      And now this morning twitter has acknowledged that they relied on the Washington Post and NYT stories for the fact checking and that they were wrong. They have withdrawn there comments about Trumps tweet. As I said above Twitter was simply wrong!
      And so was the heading on this post.. Trump threatened tp regulate by EO Twitter.s discriminatory censorship not close them down.

      Reply
  6. David

     /  28th May 2020

    Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud,” read the conclusion of a bipartisan 2005 report authored by the Commission on Federal Election Reform, which was chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker.

    Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  29th May 2020

    Turns out the headline is false and the proposed move by Trump is to make the internet publishers responsible for content – in other words add legal force to what they claim to be doing.

    That will shoot down their attempt to have their cake and eat it – claim legal immunity while censoring what they dislike.

    The outcome will likely just be an end to that censorship.

    Reply
  8. “Without certain liability protections, companies like Twitter would have to be more aggressive about policing messages that press the boundaries — like the president’s.”

    Could be an own goal by Trump, if it’s taken seriously by anyone.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  29th May 2020

      Brown spouts rubbish. It’s not incoherent at all – it’s skewering their duplicity as I noted.

      Reply
  9. Reply
  10. FarmerPete

     /  29th May 2020

    This conflict has been looming for a long time. It centres around whether twitter et al are publishers or platforms. These media companies enjoy special legislative protection as long as they are platforms. facebook has already decided that they will not censor political comment, and thus remain a platform. Zuckerberg said yesterday that he did not believe it was the role of social media companies to edit, or fact check political comment. Twitter has chosen the other and more dangerous path (for them) in so far as their censoring and editing policies place them squarely in the publishers category potentially make them liable for all the content on their platform. Horsey told congress that Twitter algorithms had a bias against conservative content.
    That is what the EO is all about and it is definitely not incoherent as brown alleges.

    Reply
  11. duperez

     /  29th May 2020

    John McCain was a POW, scorned by Trump as a prisoner of war.

    Trump with his threats is again all PAW – piss and wind.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  29th May 2020

      I think he will achieve his objective, dups.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  29th May 2020

        He has already. Publicity, sticking up for free speech, 100,000 distractions, show of power, prey on antipathy to Big Media, sustaining the ‘fake media’ narrative, self depiction as a victim…. A good package.

        Reply
      • There’s a small issue of the First Amendment to get past first … but then acting constitutionally has never been a strong suit for Trump.

        Reply
  12. Ironically, Donald Trump is a big beneficiary of the provision he’s now trying to overturn. He’s attacking the exact legal provision that has given him latitude to post lies, defamation, and threats.

    If platforms were not immune under the law, then they wouldn’t risk the legal liability that could come with hosting Trump’s lies. He lies without constraint. Twitter is to be applauded for showing the beginnings of a social conscience.

    Of course the saddest thing is that he had nearly six months to act on the coronavirus and did nothing. Within 48 hours of being fact-checked on Twitter he issued an executive order. There’s a hundred thousand mourning families in America who I’m sure would have wanted it to be the other way around.

    Reply

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