In his tweet, Trump shared the link to the article, “Twitter Shuts Down Entire Network To Slow Spread Of Negative Biden News.” In the caption of his tweet, he seemed to indicate that he was genuinely alarmed.
“Wow, this has never been done in history. This includes his really bad interview last night. Why is Twitter doing this. Bringing more attention to Sleepy Joe & Big T,” he wrote, with “Big T” referring to “Big Tech.”
However, nothing in the article he shared was actually true as it was written by a satirical website, whose articles are essentially long-form jokes. Other articles currently on the front page of The Babylon Bee‘s site include “Facebook Bans The Babylon Bee For Being Too Accurate,” and “Mark Zuckerberg Pops Out Of Man’s Shower To Warn Him The Story He’s Reading Is Fake News.”
Similarly, in the “About Us” section of the outlet’s website, a disclaimer that reads “we write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life” is followed by a discussion about the website’s coverage of “every major world event” since “the Tower of Babel.”
The specific article the president tweeted seems to be spoofing a bit of actual news that popped up this week. As NPR News reported, Facebook and Twitter both took steps to limit the distribution of New York Post stories about Joe Biden. The series of articles by the newspaper cited emails, purportedly sent by Biden’s son Hunter, that the outlet claimed it got from Trump’s private attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Both social media platforms stated that they made the decision to limit the spread of the articles because they included potentially false information.
Republicans, including Trump, accused the companies of practicing censorship. Evelyn Douek, a Harvard Law School lecturer who studies the regulation of online speech, appeared to suggest that the companies might have been walking on thin ice with the decision.
“It’s really unclear if they have stepped in exceptionally in this case,” she said.
Trump got dragged by users on Twitter who pointed out that he appears to have been duped by satire. The Onion, another openly satirical news site, was a trending topic on the site Friday morning as Twitter users replied to the president, saying that Babylon Bee was the conservative version of the popular satire website.