Civil Rights group, watchdog formally request Twitter suspend Trump’s account over disinformation
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the watchdog group Common Cause issued a joint request Thursday for Twitter to temporarily suspend President Trump’s account over the spread of disinformation about the election.
The groups sent a joint letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey calling for Trump’s account to be suspended over “repeated violations” of the platform’s Civic Integrity Policy.
“We fear that, in the absence of action by Twitter, the President may be successful in his goal of delegitimizing the integrity of our democratic processes for many, and not just Twitter users but other voters and members of the public, sowing uncertainty about the voting and elections process, and potentially inciting violence against civil servants or others,” Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law executive director Kirsten Clarke wrote.
As of Thursday afternoon, Twitter has hidden eight Tweets posted by Trump since Election Day behind a label that warns “some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is doubted and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.” Twitter has also limited the spread of such tweets.
Trump’s post-Election Day tweets are not the first to be flagged by the social media giant, as Flynn and Clarke write in the letter. The platform has labeled misleading or false claims the president has tweeted about the coronavirus as well as mail-in ballots in recent months.
“If Twitter’s rules are to have any meaning, they must be enforced, and we would expect any other Twitter users who repeatedly and deliberately violated Twitter’s terms of service in this manner would also have their account locked,” they wrote.
“President Trump’s continued use of Twitter’s platform to spread disinformation may incite the public in ways that could prove harmful to public safety, if it has not done so already,” they added.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed in a statement the company received the letter Thursday and said “we intend to respond.”
Their letter comes after several Democratic lawmakers issued similar calls for Twitter to suspend Trump’s account.
“Suspend his account, @Twitter. This is pure disinformation. Valid votes are being counted. This is America, not Russia,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) tweeted Wednesday in response to one of Trump’s labeled tweets about the election.
Suspend his account, @Twitter. This is pure disinformation. Valid votes are being counted.
This is America, not Russia. https://t.co/6XuKMxWagg
— Rep. Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) November 4, 2020
Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), the chairman of the House antitrust subcommittee, also called for Twitter to suspend Trump’s account “for “posting lies and misinformation at a breathtaking clip.”
“It is a threat to our democracy and should be suspended until all the votes are counted,” Cicilline said, according to Politico.
As several battleground states are still counting ballots, Trump and his team have been making statements on Twitter spreading misinformation and in some cases prematurely claiming victory.
The platform labeled posts Wednesday from Eric Trump, one of the president’s two adult sons, claiming “We have won Pennsylvania!” around 3:30 p.m. EST. At that time, more than one million mail-in ballots were still uncounted. Ballots in the key battleground state still remain uncounted as of Thursday afternoon.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted around the same time claiming “VICTORY” for the president in the state, and her post received the same label.
A spokesperson for the Trump campaign was not immediately available for comment.
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