U.S. President Donald Trump escalated his feud with social media on Wednesday morning when he threatened to “strongly regulate” or shut down platforms he feels are showing a bias against conservative voices. The president made his threats in a Twitter thread one day after the company appended some of his tweets about mail-in and absentee ballot voting with a fact-check label.
“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”
Trump added, “We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016,” and said he won’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again. Trump then once again decried the “large-scale” use of absentee ballots in this fall’s election. He claimed if they allowed mail-in voting to take root in the country, it would create a situation where whoever cheated the most would win.
The pair of tweets was the latest attack on social media in general and Twitter in particular. The president grew angry earlier in the week when Twitter flagged two of his earlier tweets about absentee ballots. On both tweets, a blue exclamation point fact-check symbol with a link reading “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” was inserted before the date, time and text of the message.
Not long after the social media site took action against Trump, his campaign responded by claiming Twitter was interfering with the president getting his message to voters.
Trump campaign manager on Twitter flagging Trump mail in vote tweets: “We always knew that Silicon Valley would pull out all the stops to obstruct and interfere with President Trump getting his message through to voters.” pic.twitter.com/g53gJo4mw2
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 26, 2020
Trump claimed, through a post on Twitter, that the company was stifling his free speech. “They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post,” he tweeted out.
He added he would not allow what he saw as the stifling of his speech to happen.
The absentee ballot issue was just one of two controversies surrounding the president and social media. Trump has at various points in the last two weeks accused MSNBC host Joe Scarborough of having a role in the death of his former aide, Lori Klausutis. As the president’s claims have continued, Klausutis’ husband has asked him to stop bringing her up, but Trump has refused to honor that request and Twitter won’t remove the tweets, BBC News reported.
Not long after the president posted about his problem with social media companies, he returned his focus to Scarborough.
Psycho Joe Scarborough is rattled, not only by his bad ratings but all of the things and facts that are coming out on the internet about opening a Cold Case. He knows what is happening!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020