Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took sole responsibility Wednesday night after his company applied a fact-check on a tweet from President Donald Trump suggesting California’s mail-in ballot move is “fraudulent.”
Trump’s tweet Tuesday suggesting mail-in ballot votes are fraudulent could mislead people into believing they don’t have to register to get a ballot, Dorsey wrote on Twitter. He also asked people to lay off his employees.
“[T]here is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me,” Dorsey wrote in a tweet. “Please leave our employees out of this. We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make.”
He added: “Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves.” The move to slap a fact-check on the president’s tweet doesn’t make “us an ‘arbiter of truth,” Dorsey noted before linking to the company’s “Civic integrity policy,” which tells users not to use the platform to interfere in the civic process.
Dorsey’s tweet came shortly after White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced the president’s decision to sign an executive order targeting social media companies.
Trump has a long-history of lashing out at Silicon Valley companies for supposedly discriminating against conservatives. News of an executive order also came as Republican lawmakers began work on legislation Wednesday to strip Twitter of protections internet companies receive from liability of publishing false information.
Details about the executive order were not forthcoming, but The Washington Post reported late Wednesday night that it will include three provisions: direct the Commerce Department to request the Federal Communications Commission to reexamine the scope of Section 230, a decades-old law protecting internet companies from certain lawsuits; channel complaints of political bias to the Federal Trade Commission; and require federal agencies to review spending on social media advertising.
Trump is expected to sign the order Thursday.
Dorsey’s tweets also come after reports highlighted the work of Yael Roth, Twitter’s head of site security, who is responsible for heading the company’s fight against election-related misinformation. Roth derided the president after the 2016 election, calling Trump the “wretched orange man,” and acknowledging that he donated to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
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