Twitter Blocks Controversial Trump Tweet By Limiting Likes and Retweets

Twitter Blocks Controversial Trump Tweet By Limiting Likes and Retweets
Photo: Getty, Getty Images

With just hours to go until the 2020 general election gets underway, Twitter has slapped a “disputed” label on one of President Donald Trump’s tweets, limiting users’ abilities to interact with content the platform has deemed “misleading about an election or other civic process.”

In the censored tweet, Trump makes the baseless claim that a recent decision by the Supreme Court to allow Pennsylvania to extend the deadline for election officials to receive ballots would result in “rampant and unchecked cheating” and would also “undermine our entire systems of laws,” leading to “violence in the streets.” A message that now appears beneath the tweet encourages users to “Learn how voting by mail is safe and secure,” and links to a Twitter topics landing page that proclaims that “Voting by mail is legal and safe, experts and data confirm.” Trump’s post was also amended on Facebook, where the platform attached a note confirming that “voting by mail and in person have a long history of trustworthiness in the US,” and that voter fraud is “extremely rare across voting methods.” Amid flagging poll numbers and a deflated campaign, Trump has sought to use the specter of voter fraud as a means to delegitimize his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Photo: Gizmodo Photo: Gizmodo

Back in September, ahead of what is sure to be the most hotly contested election in living memory, Twitter had announced an updated set of policies aimed at combating misinformation around the election results, vowing to tack on “additional warnings and restrictions on Tweets with a misleading information label from US political figures (including candidates and campaign accounts).”

While Twitter’s previous content guidelines carved out exceptions for notable public figures like Trump, attaching warnings to censored tweets about how it “may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” this is the first time the platform has gone so far as to limit users’ abilities to share and engage with the president’s misinformation.