- Twitter on Saturday briefly took new action to stem the spread of President Donald Trump’s false tweets about his loss in the 2020 election.
- Replies and likes were disabled on several of Trump’s tweets Saturday morning before Twitter the company reversed course hours later, telling Business Insider the change was made “inadvertently.”
- Throughout 2020, Twitter has attempted to curb misinformation on the platform, though the company has long said it allows the president’s account and posts to remain on the platform because they are of public interest.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Twitter on Saturday appeared to take further steps to prevent its users from interacting with tweets from President Donald Trump that shared inaccurate information about the 2020 election, briefly blocking users from liking and replying to some of his tweets before it backtracked.
Several users noted the change on the platform early Saturday, which was first applied to Trump’s tweet that claimed the “people of the United States were cheated, and our Country is disgraced” following the Supreme Court’s latest refusal on Friday to hear a longshot bid to overturn the results.
When users attempted to like or reply to the tweets, they were instead met with a messaging explaining why Twitter had disabled the features.
“We try to prevent a Tweet like this that otherwise breaks the Twitter Rules from reaching more people, so we’ve disabled most of the ways to engage with it,” the label said.
But hours after, just before 10 a.m., with no public statement from Twitter, it appeared to have changed course, allowing users to like the tweets after first presenting a large warning that the contents of the post were disputed.
“We inadvertently took action to limit engagements on the labeled Tweet you referenced,” a Twitter spokesperson told Business Insider on Saturday. “This action has been reversed, and you can now engage with the Tweet, but in line with our Civic Integrity Policy policy it will continue to be labeled in order to give more context for anyone who might see the Tweet.”
While Trump lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden in November, he has refused to accept the results, launching a disinformation campaign that has leveraged false allegations of widespread voter fraud by Democrats and a number of failed lawsuits in an attempt to overturn the results.
As part of its effort to combat misinformation and disinformation on the platform ahead of the election, Twitter earlier this year limited users’ ability to retweet posts, adding “extra friction” in encouraging them to comment rather than sharing them without context.
Despite Trump’s flouting of Twitter policies throughout his tenure as president, the company has long said it allowed his account to remain without suspension or termination because his posts were deemed newsworthy and of public interest despite their violation of the Twitter rules.
Earlier this year, Twitter began fact-checking some of Trump’s posts, sparking anger and executive action from the president, who alleged that social-media companies were biased against conservatives. In May, Twitter had hidden a tweet from the president behind a warning stating it glorified violence, though the company allowed the tweet to remain on the platform.
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