Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Tuesday defended the decision of the micro-blogging platform to not remove US President Donald Trump’s tweets related to election results. During a Congressional hearing over the company’s content moderation policy, Senator Dianne Feinstein mentioned a Trump’s tweet in which he had claimed a win in the presidential elections while media networks had not called the election in anyone’s favour.
Feinstein, a Democrat and ranking member of Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Trump and his allies tweeted hundreds of false claims about 2020 elections. She highlighted that the US President even falsely claimed victory and alleged widespread voter fraud. The 87-year-old Senator quoted Trump tweet from November 7, which reads “I won this election by a lot”.
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Twitter applied a warning label to the tweet, saying “Official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted”. Feinstein asked Dorsey whether he believes a label goes “far enough to prevent the tweet’s harms” when the tweet is still visible and not accurate.
“I do, because it’s not the just surface-level label. It points to a collection of news articles of information and conversation that gives you an expansion on what’s happening with the election,” replied Dorsey.
Seemingly unconvinced by the answer, the Senator reiterated the question, stressing that these tweets “arouse people”. She said that the entity running such an operation ought to have an understanding that the tweets can play a major role on stirring people up to unacceptable levels.
“I believe it’s really important that we show people a broader context. And that is the intention of the label. It is not just text below a tweet, it is a link to connect to a much larger conversation and news articles across the spectrum,” said Dorsey, without providing proper justification for keeping the tweets on the platform. During the hearing, the Twitter chief also testified that the platform has removed some 300,000 election-related tweets between October 27 and November 11, representing 0.2 per cent of all election-related tweets.
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