THE NEUTRAL ZONE
Following Twitter’s labeling of two of his posts with a fact-check label on Tuesday, President Donald Trump has since threatened to “close down” social media platforms that allegedly “silence conservative voices.” However, some questioned if Twitter did enough with the initial label of his tweets. For example, Engadget stated that the label was added “nine hours after the initial tweets,” meaning that it had already been retweeted “over 20,000 times.”
President Trump’s statements were part of a “broader conservative backlash against Big Tech.” On May 23, it was announced that the White House was establishing a panel to “review complaints of anticonservative bias on social media.”
A 2018 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit court showed that the court system is “unlikely to be receptive” to attempt to shut down social media platforms over alleged bias claims. The court stated, “Freedom Watch’s First Amendment claim fails because it does not adequately allege that the Platforms can violate the First Amendment. In general, the First Amendment ‘prohibits only governmental abridgment of speech.'” Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano also stated Wednesday that the First Amendment “only regulates the government, [it] does not regulate Twitter.”
Trump Threatens to “Close” Twitter for Fact Checking His Tweets on Voting – Truthout – 5/27/2020
Free speech isn’t “stifled” by companies like Twitter — the right to free speech is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, which prevents the government from regulating or curtailing speech it disagrees with, except in rare circumstances where community safety may warrant it. The amendment does not apply to a private platform like Twitter, which can set its own rules about what’s acceptable content and who can or cannot participate.
Trump Is a Problem That Twitter Cannot Fix – The Atlantic – 5/27/2020
As The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer tweeted yesterday, “You can’t deplatform the president of the United States.” At the moment, the duly elected president is someone who deliberately puts out divisive misinformation on social media. Twitter can surely do a better job of enforcing its own rules and flagging Trump’s worst statements.
Sen Hawley Demands Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Answer For ‘Editorializing’ On Trump Tweets – Daily Caller – 5/27/2020
Twitter acted like a publisher rather than a platform where conservatives can congregate to express their political opinions, Hawley said. The Republican also asked why Twitter should continue getting “special immunity under the law in what’s known as Section 230,” a decades-old law providing internet companies legal immunity.
Twitter’s First Trump Fact Check On Mail-In Voting Was ‘Misleading,’ Other Tweets Ignored – The Daily Wire – 5/27/2020
“We always knew that Silicon Valley would pull out all the stops to obstruct and interfere with President Trump getting his message through to voters,” Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. “Partnering with the biased fake news media ‘fact checkers’ is only a smoke screen Twitter is using to try to lend their obvious political tactics some false credibility.”
Senator Mazie Hirono on Twitter, 5/27/2020: Hey @realDonaldTrump, anti-conservative bias in Big Tech is a figment of your imagination. If you don’t want Twitter to flag your tweets for fact check, maybe you shouldn’t lie in the first place.
Ronna McDaniel on Twitter, 5/27/2020: From their bogus “fact check” of @realDonaldTrump to their “head of site integrity” displaying his clear hatred towards Republicans, Twitter’s blatant bias has gone too far. https://t.co/DYGqOyug32
Jim Waterson on Twitter, 5/27/2020: In incremental-baby-steps regulation-of-the-internet news, overnight Twitter stuck a mild fact checking label on one of Donald Trump’s tweets. This will now prompt a six month culture war about left-wing bias at tech outlets and change no one’s mind.… https://t.co/Sh8Wq4RVlh
Darrell Issa on Twitter, 5/27/2020: t’s outrageous that a tech company is targeting a single American for exercising his free speech rights to warn about potential voter fraud. I stand with @realdonaldtrump. https://t.co/15RJufE1UW