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Twitter changes warning label on Trump’s election win claim after senate hearing

Twitter has become the centre of attention since election night of the 2020 presidential election, after it placed warning labels on numerous tweets by Donald Trump. But after a hearing before the senate on November 17 which challenged CEO Jack Dorsey’s expertise in voter fraud and the company’s moderation practices, Twitter quickly changed the president’s most contested post made the day before.

While the mainstream press proclaimed Joe Biden the winner of the election on November 8 having surpassed the required 270 electoral votes, and Big Tech has anointed that stance as the ‘official’ result, Trump’s side has fiercely alleged voter fraud having been carried out – and while Biden remains the projected winner, the official ruling indeed comes from the Supreme Court rather than media outlets, making the race still open until the courts decide. 

Among the many tweets to have received a warning label was Trump’s November 16 post where he proclaimed: “I won the election,” which Twitter immediately flagged.

“Official sources called this election differently,” Twitter’s warning read. 

Ted Cruz challenged Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey before the senate on November 17 over Twitter’s stance that voter fraud was “extremely rare” in the United States as well as the company’s suitability in judging such a broad and contested subject.

Cruz: “Mr Dorsey, does voter fraud exist?”

Dorsey: “I don’t know for certain.”

Cruz: “Are you an expert in voter fraud?”

Dorsey: “No I’m not.”

Cruz: “Well why then is Twitter right now putting purported warnings on virtually any statement about voter fraud?”

Cruz proceeded to challenge Dorsey on whether two particular quotes would be censored by Twitter. “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud” being the first and “voter fraud is particularly possible where third-party organizations, candidates and political party activists [are involved in] handling absentee ballots” the second.

“I don’t know the specifics of how we might enforce that, but I imagine a lot of these would have a label pointing people to a bigger conversation,” Dorsey returned.

Cruz then revealed to Dorsey that those quotes had come from the Carter Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform, produced by Democratic President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker.

In the immediate aftermath of that hearing, a curious change was observed to the aforementioned November 16 proclamation by Trump of having won the election. 

Twitter updated its warning label to: “Various sources called this election differently.”

While only symbolic, the removal of the word “official” is nevertheless potentially paradigm shifting given that it is an admission, and lawful correction, from Twitter that the media which called the election in Biden’s favour are not official sources, nor is Big Tech, but mere reporters of statistical data which can indeed still be contested. 

Time will tell whether it is the former or the latter, yet it clarifies to a significant section of society that the media’s proclamation is not the official result of the election, and the winner will be announced by the Supreme Court after analysis of claims of voter fraud.


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