Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticized Twitter on Wednesday after the microblogging platform fact-checked US President Donald Trump’s tweet that claimed mail-in voting increases voter fraud.
The message linked to a page contradicting Trump’s assertions cautions users that despite the president’s claims about mail-in voting, “fact checkers” say there is “no evidence” that mail-in voting would increase fraud risks and that “experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud.
This, however didnt go down well with President Trump who fired back and accused Twitter of attempting to stifle free speech and interfere in the 2020 election.
“@Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election,” Trump tweeted Wednesday in response to Twitter fact-checking him. “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”
Speaking during an interview with The Daily Briefing show hosted by Dana Perino of Fox News, Zuckerberg is quoted to have said that social media platforms shouldn’t be the arbiters of truth. (The full interview is expected to air on Thursday.)
“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online. In general, private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that,” said Zuckerberg.
The Face book CEO refuses to intervene in censoring public posts unless there’s a threat of imminent harm. However, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded late Wednesday, saying: “We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make.
“This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth’,” Dorsey continued. “Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.”
Trump is expected to sign an executive order addressing social media companies on Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Wednesday evening, though she offered no additional details on what the order might say.
However, two of Trump’s allies in Congress are quoted to have told Newsweek the order may strip Twitter of the special speech liability immunity it receives because of the fact-checking flap.
“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives’ voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again.”