After Donald Trump, Twitter flags China official’s tweet claiming US military brought COVID-19
On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump, known for his spontaneous tweets, attacking his political rivals and media organisations, was fact-checked by Twitter for the first time.by SNS Web
After US President Donald Trump, Twitter has now flagged a tweet written in March by a Chinese government spokesman that suggested the US military brought the novel Coronavirus to China, as the social media platform ramps up fact-checking of posts.
Twitter posted a blue exclamation mark under a tweet by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, with a comment urging readers to check the facts about COVID-19.
“CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!” Zhao wrote on March 12.
On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump, known for his spontaneous tweets, attacking his political rivals and media organisations, was fact-checked by Twitter for the first time.
In a tweet sent on Tuesday, Trump levelled some serious allegations against the mail-in-ballot system of voting ahead of presidential elections due this year. Trump said, “Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.” The statement was made without presenting any evidence or fact.
Twitter has now added a link reading “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” under his tweets, that guides users to a Twitter “moments” page with fact checks and news stories about Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.
Trump was quick to react to this development as he tweeted, “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”
However, this is not the first time Twitter has taken action against a political leader regarding misinformation. On March 29, 2020 Twitter removed two tweets by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro in which he questioned quarantine measures aimed at containing the novel Coronavirus, on the grounds that they violated the social network’s rules.
According to AFP, Twitter explained in a statement that it had recently expanded its global rules on managing content that contradicted public health information from official sources and could put people at greater risk of transmitting COVID-19.
Meanwhile, US President Trump has signed an order, seeking to strip social media giants like Twitter of legal immunity for content on their platforms in a move slammed by his critics as a legally dubious act of political revenge.
The executive order calls on government regulators to evaluate if online platforms should be eligible for liability protection for content posted by their millions of users.
Trump told media at the White House that he acted because big tech firms “have had unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences.”
(With agency reports)