Twitter added a “fact check” label to President Donald Trump’s tweets raising widely-held concerns with mail-in voting fraud earlier today, but it has failed to apply a similar standard to repeated falsehoods by elected Democrats, the mainstream media, and Joe Biden.
Unlike Facebook, which gives itself plausible deniability for fact-checking bias by relying on “third party fact checkers” (almost all left-leaning) to pick and choose what to fact-check and what to ignore, Twitter made the decision to fact-check Trump’s tweet itself, linking to an official “moment” curated by Twitter employees and containing numerous articles from the mainstream media calling the president a liar.
In a comment to Breitbart News, Twitter said there was no way for the President even to appeal the dubious “fact-check.”
In the past day alone, Twitter let falsehoods from the mainstream media have circulated without any attempt to involve “fact checkers.” The past few days and weeks reveal even more instances where misinformation from Democrats, Biden, and the mainstream media have been allowed to circulate on the platform without a fact-check.
1. Media falsely claim that Trump went golfing on Memorial Day — not fact checked by Twitter.
Earlier today, numerous false reports circulated on Twitter from mainstream journalists incorrectly claiming that the President was out golfing on memorial day. The claim is false, and can easily be proven false with a quick search of news articles: Trump was indeed golfing this weekend, but on Memorial Day itself, he attended a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetary with Vice President Pence. Twitter nonetheless allowed this claim to go viral without any fact-checking labels applied to it, on the same day it fact-checked a perfectly valid concern from the President about voting fraud.
Different approaches to Memorial Day: pic.twitter.com/QQHioB4uqJ
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) May 25, 2020
2. Biden, Democrats falsely claim they called for lockdowns one week before Trump — not fact checked by Twitter.
Presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden regularly pushes misinformation about the Chinese virus, falsely claiming that he called for a shutdown one week before Trump. There is no evidence that he made any statement of the sort — on the contrary, he is on record vocally opposing Trump’s early travel ban on China. His claim of an early call for lockdown, which took place during his now-infamous interview on The Breakfast Club, (2:34) has not been fact checked by Twitter.
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) May 22, 2020
3. China pushes conspiracy theory that the U.S. military created the coronavirus — not fact checked by Twitter.
Chinese propagandists are regularly allowed to flood social media platforms with misinformation, the most egregious of which is the conspiracy theory that the U.S. military created the Chinese coronavirus. In March, Chinese government spokesman Lijian Zhao tweeted that “it might be the US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Beijing propagandists have also spread the false narrative, highlighted by U.S. lawmakers in a March letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, that China did everything possible to control the global spread of the virus — even though the communist government initially tried to cover up reports of the burgeoning outbreak in Wuhan, where the virus emerged.
In March, Twitter announced it would not take action against Chinese misinformation posted to the platform by official government accounts, such as those shown below. China has doubled the number of official accounts tweeting since January, and they have tweeted 90,000 times since April. Luckily for the communist country, China doesn’t face the same scrutiny on the platform as President Trump.
2/2 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! pic.twitter.com/vYNZRFPWo3
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) March 12, 2020
In our fight against #COVID19, the Chinese government has always been open, transparent & responsible. We always speak the truth with facts. It’s crystal clear which country has been doing everything possible to ensure people’s life & health & promote anti-pandemic cooperation. pic.twitter.com/jGXXVbElPL
— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) May 21, 2020
4. Biden claims Trump has “no comprehensive plan” for the virus or the economy — not fact checked by Twitter.
On the same day that Twitter fact-checked President Trump, Joe Biden tweeted the demonstrably false statement that President Trump has “no comprehensive plan” for the virus and economy. On the contrary, earlier this month the Trump White House released a step-by-step plan for the reopening of America, with guidelines for how and when states and businesses should reopen.
We are months into this crisis, and Donald Trump still doesn't have a comprehensive plan when it comes to COVID-19 or the economy. It's unacceptable. I released a detailed plan laying out what I would do months ago, and have built on it since. Take a look: https://t.co/xjxsDn2qCD
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 26, 2020
5. Biden claims he wants “any records” of Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation against him to be released, even though he’s blocking the release of his Senate records — not fact checked by Twitter.
Joe Biden has falsely claimed that he wants “any records” of Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation to be released, even though he has blocked the release of Senate papers from archives in the University of Delaware. The claim, repeated and disseminated by the mainstream media, has not been fact checked by Twitter.
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) May 1, 2020
6. Media falsely claims Trump was warned about the outbreak as early as November — not fact checked by Twitter.
Last month, ABC news ran poorly-sourced claims that the National Center for Medical Intelligence, an arm of the Pentagon, briefed the White House on the coronavirus as early as November. In response, the NCMI put out a rare statement debunking the piece (the agency doesn’t normally comment publicly on intelligence matters). Despite this, viral tweets of the article remain on Twitter, without any fact checks.
Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November: Sources – @ABC News. The National Center for Medical intelligence findings on Coronavirus in China briefed to White House and military officials in 2019. What was done in response? https://t.co/PBgxOLAlrK
— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) April 8, 2020
7. Kamala Harris falsely claims that 100,000 coronavirus deaths “didn’t have to happen” — not fact checked by Twitter.
Failed presidential candidate Kamala Harris claimed that 100,000 deaths from coronavirus in the U.S. “didn’t have to happen,” even though the figure is at the low end of what CDC officials predicted in March. Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted that if the U.S. took no action, deaths could have spiked to the millions. A low estimate, in the view of Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci, was between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths, meaning that Harris’ claim that the deaths “didn’t have to happen” are in reference to the lowest fatality rate estimated by CDC officials.
Over 1.6 million people in the United States have tested positive for coronavirus.
Almost 100,000 have died.
Nearly 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment.
Trump was briefed on this threat in January. This full-blown public health crisis didn’t have to happen.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 26, 2020
8. W.H.O. claims “no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus” — not fact checked by Twitter.
In January, the World Health Organization repeated a highly destructive piece of misinformation from Chinese investigators in Wuhan, the initial epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. The claim, repeated in a tweet from the official WHO account, was that there was “no clear evidence” of human-to-human transmission of the virus. The claim, now obviously proven false, remains without any on Twitter without any “fact check” label from the platform.
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China🇳. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020
These are, of course, only a small selection of the many lies and half-truths that Democrats, foreign governments, and the media are allowed to spread on Twitter. Other examples include the “Covingtongate” smear of MAGA-hat wearing high school kids, Rep. Adam Schiff’s wildly exaggerated Trump-Ukraine transcripts, and the Steele Dossier.
Twitter has said that it may use warnings labels “to provide additional explanations or clarifications in situations where the risks of harm associated with a Tweet are less severe but where people may still be confused or misled by the content. This will make it easier to find facts and make informed decisions about what people see on Twitter.”
Based on the facts in this article, it seems this rule is being used to delegitimize valid points from President Trump while demonstrably false statements from Democrats, the media, and Chinese propagandists are allowed to circulate unhindered.
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.