Q&A: Will Twitter, Facebook crack down on Trump?

Q&A: Will Twitter, Facebook crack down on Trump?



OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — For the past four years, President Donald Trump has enjoyed the special status of a world leader on Twitter and Facebook, even as he used his perch atop the social media pyramid to peddle misinformation and hurl abuse at his critics.

While regular users could have faced being suspended or even booted from the platforms, Trump's misleading proclamations and personal attacks have thus far only garnered warning labels.

But could his loose leash on the platforms be yanked on Jan. 20 when his successor, Joe Biden, is inaugurated?

Here are some questions and answers about what the companies have done — and not done — why Twitter’s response has been stronger than Facebook’s and what, if anything we might see from the platforms in the coming weeks and months, once their most high-profile user is no longer in the White House.



Ever since he lost his reelection bid, Trump has been spreading falsehoods about purported election fraud and otherwise trying to delegitimize Biden’s win. For the most part, Twitter and Facebook have responded by adding what look like warning labels to his statements, gently guiding people to authoritative information.

But it’s not just Trump’s tweets. Twitter has labeled hundreds of thousands of posts since late October under its “civic integrity” policy, flagging disputed or potentially misleading posts about the election, the voting process and the results. The idea was to prevent voter suppression and premature declarations of victory — in other words, protect the democratic process in an extraordinary election year complicated by a pandemic that led to millions of people voting by mail for the first time.

On Twitter, more than 100 of Trump's tweets and...

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