With just weeks away from the Presidential election, social media "fact checkers" are out in full force.
Most recently, Twitter appears to have "censored" President Trump's latest tweet about the Flu.
No… they did not remove the tweet itself.
But… they did hide the tweet behind a label and have prevented users from sharing it online.
So what exactly did President Trump tweet?
Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!
Now, we don't know about you, but nothing in that tweet looks inaccurate to us.
They might not like the "implications" of the tweet, but that doesn't make it any less true!
This is the label that Twitter is using to hide the tweet:
This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.
See more details on this tweet below!
Facebook and Twitter are blocking the post, claiming that Trump is lying about COVID being less deadly than the flu.
That is NOT what he said.
President Trump clearly made the comparison in regards to "most populations."
The elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are more likely to suffer from COVID-19 or even die.
But younger populations and those who are healthy are more likely to be ok!
CNBC confirms that Trumps post was censored:
Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday took action against a post from President Donald Trump that falsely claimed the seasonal flu is more deadly than the coronavirus.
Facebook removed the post, and Twitter added a label warning of misinformation about the coronavirus before a user could click to view it. Twitter also prevented the tweet from being shared.
“As is standard with this public interest notice, engagements with the Tweet will be significantly limited,” a Twitter spokesperson told CNBC.
In the post, which was shared on both Facebook and Twitter, Trump said: “Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!”
As of Tuesday morning, the Covid-19 pandemic has so far sickened more than 7.45 million in the United States, and at least 210,195 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. According to the CDC, an estimated 22,000 people died from the 2019-2020 seasonal flu. The deadliest flu season since 2010 was in 2017-2018, with an estimated 61,000 deaths, according to the CDC.
“We remove incorrect information about the severity of Covid-19, and have now removed this post,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC.
Facebook was first to take action against the post just before 11 a.m. ET. Trump’s post was up for more than three hours before Twitter labeled it. More than 31.5 million people follow Trump’s Facebook account. He has more than 87 million followers on Twitter.
Because of the censorship, President Trump is now issuing a call to "REPEAL SECTION 230!!!!"
Section 230 is what allows moderators and social media platforms to remove content.
It appears that the next time the Senate Commerce Committee meets, Section 230 will be a major topic of discussion.
According to Tech Crunch:
It looks like we’re in for another big tech CEO hearing.
The Senate Commerce Committee voted Thursday to move forward with subpoenas for Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet. The unusual decision to subpoena the social media chief executives adds yet another politically volatile event to the schedule in the run-up to the most contentious election in modern U.S. history.
The hearing will focus on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the key law that shields online platforms from legal liability for the content their users create.
While the topic might sound dry for the unacquainted, the law is an explosive topic, both politically and in the eyes of the tech industry, which could be left reeling from even what might seem like minor changes to the legal shield.
Committee Chairman Roger Wicker called the decision to hold the hearing “imperative” in order for Americans to “receive a full accounting from the heads of these companies about their content moderation practices.”
Remarkably, the decision to subpoena the CEOs was unanimous, with ranking Democrat Maria Cantwell joining the vote to subpoena the companies after initially opposing the decision.
Cantwell previously called the idea of issuing subpoenas an “extraordinary” step intended to “chill the efforts” of companies to remove misinformation and harassment from their platforms.
Republican members of the Senate Commerce Committee include Wicker, Ted Cruz, John Thune and Rick Scott. Democrats on the committee include Cantwell, Amy Klobuchar, Brian Schatz and Kyrsten Sinema.
Section 230 is generally regarded as the legal infrastructure that made the social internet possible, from Facebook accounts and comments sections to Yelp and Amazon reviews. It’s a short law, but in 2020 an increasingly controversial one, as lawmakers scramble for levers to limit — or at least threaten to limit — the power of big tech companies.
Republicans see dismantling Section 230’s legal protections as a way to punish social media companies for perceived anti-conservative bias — a common refrain on the right that is regularly undermined by the ubiquity of right-leaning content on platforms like Facebook.
Importantly, President Trump and Attorney General William Barr have taken particular interest in attacking Section 230. Earlier this year, Trump lashed out at Twitter for moderating his false claims with an executive order threatening the law. While the order was largely toothless, Trump’s focus on Section 230 set the agenda for the Barr’s Department of Justice and for Republicans in Congress eager to follow his lead. The order also roped the FCC into getting involved.
In June, the Justice Department laid out the groundwork for “a set of concrete reform proposals” that would undermine the law, couching the proposal as an effort to rid platforms of “illicit content” like child abuse. Last month, Barr sent draft legislation to Congress incorporating those proposals.
Democrats have more recently warmed up to the idea of going after Section 230, but for different reasons. While the right mostly complains about political censorship, Democratic lawmakers see changing Section 230 as a way to hold platforms accountable for rampant misinformation and other forms of toxic content that continue to thrive on social platforms.
Social media platforms should continue to be just that.... platforms...
Instead of determining which content can be allowed on the internet, they should operate as an open forum and public square!
After all, our Constitution guarantees FREE SPEECH for all!