Twitter CEO Dorsey stands by flagging Trump tweets with fact-check warning

President Trump

Enlarge Image President Trump Evan Vucci AP

U.S. President Donald Trump is escalating his war on social media companies, preparing to sign an executive order Thursday challenging the liability protections that have served as a bedrock for unfettered speech on the internet.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has defended his platform's decision to fact-check US President Donald Trump for the first time ever over his comments on the upcoming election. There was no fact-check of Chinese propaganda, but they managed to fact-check, in a wrong way, the president of the United States, ' she said.

Trump is a prolific user of Twitter, often tweeting or retweeting dozens of times a day.

In an interview with Fox News Channel on Wednesday, Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said censoring a platform would not be the "right reflex" for a government anxious about censorship.

"We have a different policy than, I think, Twitter on this", he said in a Fox News interview on Wednesday.

But larger efforts to regulate social media platforms are more of a legal long-shot.

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Dorsey, after saying that his employees should be left out of the spat, which is expected to get worse, tweeted: "We'll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally".

The claim that Twitter is biased against conservatives fits the White House narrative that the billionaire president is still an outsider politician running against the elite. And always one to heap accolades on himself, perhaps because the rest of the world won't, Trump tweeted he was "getting great marks" for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the USA having the highest death toll in the world.

Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006, wrote that the site chose to put a fact-check warning on two of Trump's tweets because they may "mislead people into thinking they don't need to register to get a ballot".

It's unclear what sort of constraints Trump would be able to apply to social media companies without the action of Congress.

"If President Trump doesn't like Twitter, he can do everyone a favor and stop tweeting", the Democratic senator tweeted.

Other sources cited by the media said the new executive order will have to do with countering what Trump and right-wingers allege is a suppression of conservative viewpoints by both social media and tech firms.

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The White House action comes two days after Twitter angered Trump by adding a disclaimer to his tweets falsely claiming mail-in ballots lead to widespread voter fraud.

Trump, in signing the order, complained that companies "like Twitter enjoy an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they are a neutral platform, which they are not". The changes, if upheld in court, could expose social media companies to more lawsuits. Trump has also leveled the same charges against Twitter and Facebook.

Mr Zhao's tweets "contain potentially misleading content" about the virus and have been labelled "to provide additional context to the public". Company leaders said the new labels could be applied to anyone on Twitter and they were considering using them on other topics.

Meanwhile, Republicans were turning their fire on one of the Twitter executives responsible for adding the fact-checks: Yoel Roth, head of site integrity.

"We are deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family", the company told PCMag.

This story was reported by The Associated Press.

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