Twitter’s fact-checks open up a huge can of worms
Who, exactly, is Twitter going to “fact-check” now — and by what standard? It sure looks like CEO Jack Dorsey hasn’t thought this one through.
Twitter plainly decided on the fly to slap a “misinformation” flag on President Trump’s tweets ranting against mail-in voting.
Now: What are the objective rules for what gets examined? Humans working for Twitter can’t possibly look at millions of posts a day, let alone consider each case even cursorily. Is it mainly the president and other highly followed tweeters who’ll get checked?
Will Twitter go back and flag reporters’ tweets about “Russian collusion”? What’s the standard for #MeToo claims?
This is a minefield.
Making it worse, one of those involved in enforcing these rules is himself a proven flamethrower: Yoel Roth, Twitter’s “head of site integrity,” has referred to Team Trump as “ACTUAL NAZIS,” called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a “personality-free bag of farts” and equated Kellyanne Conway to Joseph Goebbels.
Sure looks like the fact-checking will carry a left-wing bias.
Trump’s noise about some move to “strongly regulate” or even shutter social-media companies is far off-base. Twitter, as a private company, can decide what it publishes.
But Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) raises a subtler point: Fact-checking like this makes a mockery of a social-media company’s claim to be a neutral “platform” or “forum” — rather than a publisher who’s subject to libel laws.
Ouch: With the flood of hateful bile that Twitter notoriously transmits, Dorsey is going to need a lot of lawyers.
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