US President Donald Trump has threatened to “strongly regulate” or close down social media platforms after Twitter applied a fact-check to two of his Tweets.
It’s the first time that the social media platform has taken such measures against Trump.
As the US coronavirus death toll surpasses 100,000 Trump has become embroiled in a war with social media platform Twitter.
As America edges closer to its presidential election, mail-in ballots which allow for people to vote safely amidst the coronavirus pandemic, have been the subject of much debate. In his original Tweets, Trump made an unsubstantiated claim that mail-in ballots lead to voter fraud.
“There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent,” Trump described in one of two original Tweets.
“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!”
Twitter proceeded to attach a link to Trump’s Tweet, which read “Get the facts about mail-in ballots”.
In response to this, Trump vowed to “strongly regulate” or close down social media platforms due to the fact that Republicans feel that the platforms “totally silence conservative voices”, arguing that Twitter was interfering in the 2020 presidential election by hindering free speech:
….happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
It has now been announced that Trump will sign an executive order targeting social media platforms, however, the details surrounding the orders have not been shared.
Since then, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took to the platform to back up the company’s decision, describing “the tweets yesterday may mislead people into thinking they don’t need to register to get a ballot (only registered voters receive ballots)”:
Per our Civic Integrity policy (https://t.co/uQ0AoPtoCm), the tweets yesterday may mislead people into thinking they don’t need to register to get a ballot (only registered voters receive ballots). We’re updating the link on @realDonaldTrump’s tweet to make this more clear.
— jack (@jack) May 28, 2020
The tension comes as it was announced today that the US death toll from coronavirus has surpassed 100,000 people.