In a recent article, the New York Times outlines how Twitter’s efforts to censor President Trump successfully limited his reach on election night. The Times notes that an analysis shows Trump’s post “was shared or replied to about 827 times a minute. After it was labeled, that dropped to 151 times a minute.”
The New York Times reports in an article titled “After Twitter Labels Trump’s Tweet About Pennsylvania, Its Spread Slows,” that Twitter’s recent censoring of a tweet by President Trump successfully limited the President’s reach on the platform on election night.
Breitbart News recently reported that President Trump expressed his feelings about a Supreme Court ruling on voting in Pennsylvania in a tweet, which Twitter marked as “misleading.” Trump stated: “The Supreme Court decision on voting in Pennsylvania is a VERY dangerous one. It will allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws. It will also induce violence in the streets. Something must be done!”
The Supreme Court decision on voting in Pennsylvania is a VERY dangerous one. It will allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws. It will also induce violence in the streets. Something must be done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2020
Twitter added a label to the tweet which reads: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process. Learn more.” Twitter users were also unable to reply to the tweet, favorite it, or share it. Many have resorted to posting screenshots of the tweet to share it with followers.
When scrolling through the President’s timeline, users were also unable to see the tweet at all without clicking a warning from Twitter acknowledging that it may be misleading. Twitter has also disabled its retweet feature for some time, forcing users to quote tweet the post if they wanted to share it on their timelines.
Now, the New York Times writes:
Twitter’s act of labeling Mr. Trump’s tweet on Monday also meant that people could not easily share the post, unless they posted their own message with his tweet quoted underneath. That quickly slowed the tweet’s overall spread, according to an analysis by the Election Integrity Partnership, a coalition of misinformation researchers.
Before Mr. Trump’s tweet was labeled, it was shared or replied to about 827 times a minute. After it was labeled, that dropped to 151 times a minute, according to the E.I.P. analysis.
3/5 Around 40 min later, Twitter took action by hiding the tweet behind an informational label and preventing it from being retweeted. The graph below shows the rate of retweets and quote tweets, which were dramatically reduced after Twitter took action https://t.co/t0w183GgxZ pic.twitter.com/ZN5CwHvTxn
— Election Integrity Partnership (@2020Partnership) November 3, 2020
Some have suggested that Twitter should act faster in labeling tweets such as the President’s as false. Lisa Kaplan, the founder of Alethea Group, a company that helps public officials and private clients fight misinformation, commented: “Those decisions need to be made a lot more quickly; they should be split-second decisions.”
Read the full article at the New York Times here.