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Donald Trump threatens to SHUT DOWN website over fact row

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It comes after Twitter introduced it’s first ever fact check on a tweet from the US President about mail-in ballots. The social media company has been a favoured platform for Trump, who joined in March 2009.

Trump has lambasted Twitter and other social media platforms of bias against Republicans, and claimed that the websites are attempting to rig the election.

He tweeted: “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.”

Trump continued by returning to his point about mail-in ballots leading to corruption.

He added: “We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again.

“Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country.

“It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots.

“Whoever cheated the most would win.

“Likewise, Social Media, clean up your act, now!”

Twitter and Facebook declined comment on Trump’s tweets.

The attack on social media companies by the president has led share prices for both Twitter and Facebook to fall.

General Counsel Sean Edgett said decisions about handling misinformation are made as a group when he was asked during Twitter’s annual meeting on Wednesday why the company decided to affix the label to Trump’s mail-in ballot tweets.

He said: “We have a group and committee of folks who take a look at these things and make decisions on what’s getting a lot of visibility and traction.”

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It is not clear whether president Trump has the authority to shut down the companies.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the First Amendment of the US Constitution limits any action Trump could take to regulate social media platforms.

But Republican and Democratic lawmakers, along with the US Justice Department, have been considering changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law largely exempting online platforms from legal liability for the material their users post.

Such changes could expose tech companies to more lawsuits.

Twitter said the application of a fact-checking label to the president’s tweets was an extension of its new “misleading information” policy, introduced earlier this month to combat misinformation about the coronavirus.

It said at the time that it would later extend the COVID-19 policy to other types of disputed or misleading information.

Twitter so far has only deleted tweets by the presidents of Brazil and Venezuela which violated its coronavirus rules.

The company’s alert on Trump’s mail-in ballot tweets came hours after it declined to take action on separate tweets Trump had sent about the 2001 death of a former congressional staff member for Joe Scarborough, after her widower asked the company to remove them for furthering false claims.

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