Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says his platform has slapped warning labels on 300,000 election-related tweets, including over 50 from US President Donald Trump, in the course of two weeks.
Dorsey, along with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, returned to Congress on Tuesday to face questions about social media’s role in influencing politics, specifically the 2020 presidential election.
Twitter has arguably faced the most criticism, as the platform continues to label tweets from the president alleging voter fraud as “misleading.”
Dorsey revealed some 300,000 election-related tweets were given the “misleading” label between October 27 through November 11, which amounts to approximately 0.2 percent of election-related tweets. More than 50 of those have been from Trump himself.
“In the lead-up to the 2020 elections, we made significant enhancements to our policies to protect the integrity of the election. Most notably, this year, we updated our civic integrity policy to more comprehensively enforce labeling or removing of false and misleading information,”
Republican lawmakers specifically targeted Twitter over its October decision to suppress a New York Post story about a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, which contained illicit images, as well as emails that insinuated the former vice president was involved in his son’s foreign business deals – something he has long denied. Dorsey admitted the suppression was “wrong.”
“We made a quick interpretation, using no other evidence, that the materials in the article were obtained through hacking, and according to our policy, we blocked them from being spread,” Dorsey said. “Upon further consideration, we admitted this action was wrong and corrected it within 24 hours.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) slammed both Facebook, which also censored the sharing of the story, and Twitter for acting as the “ultimate editor” when it came to the report.
Big Tech leaders are facing equal scrutiny from Democrat lawmakers, though, in this case, the criticism is that they are not going far enough with their policing of posts.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) slammed Facebook during the hearing for not suspending former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, after viral comments saying he wanted Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray’s “heads on pikes.”
“I’m very concerned that, in fact, Facebook seems to have a record of making accommodations and caving to conservative pressure,” Blumenthal said.
Zuckerberg countered that the “content in question” violated Facebook’s policies and was removed, but such a violation does not justify an account being banned.
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