Almost three years ago, Twitter released a statement that was almost refreshing in how blatantly insulting and self-important it was, explaining that the company would never do anything about Donald Trump’s tweets because everything he has to say is “newsworthy” and therefore deserves to be read, unfiltered, by anyone and everyone. It was an acknowledgement that it holds him to a different standard than literally every other user on the planet, for no real reason other than the fact that Trump’s Twitter—no matter what he uses it for—is good for the brand. It said something similar a year later, claiming that banning “a world leader” or removing their posts would “hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”
But now, for the first time ever, Twitter has put in the least amount of work it possibly could to acknowledge that, hey, this guy says some fucked-up shit pretty often. Earlier today, presumably in between holding very important meetings about the 100,000 people who have died from the coronavirus and how many more will continue to die as the summer goes on, Trump tweeted about the recent campaigns in various statements to make it easier for people to use mail-in ballots for the upcoming presidential election in November. According to Trump, there’s “NO WAY” that any attempt to use mail-in ballots would be “anything less than substantially fraudulent,” not-so-subtly laying more groundwork for him to eventually claim that the whole election is invalid if he doesn’t like how things work out later this year.
At some point after that, Twitter added little notices to his posts that say, simply, “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.” If you click that, it takes you to a page explaining that what he’s saying is wrong and that there is no evidence linking voter fraud to mail-in ballots. It’s not specifically flagging his tweets as being inaccurate, it’s simply adding links to where people can learn about the inaccuracy of his tweets if they choose to do so. In a statement given to The Washington Post, Twitter spokesperson Katie Rosborough said the tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.” Adding the link is not nothing, but it’s also barely something.
So, naturally, Trump is handling this about as well as you’d expect, accusing Twitter of “interfering” in the election and “stifling FREE SPEECH.” Hey, look at that! He’s the goddamn president and he doesn’t know what free speech means. He’s as stupid as the people who support him! Nice to finally get that one in the books... again. (By the way, Twitter might want to add “Get the facts about free speech” and “Get the facts about election interference” buttons if it’s serious about this.)