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Trump Threatens to Close Down Social Media for Challenging His Lies

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27.05.2020

One of the few blessings of our current era is Donald Trump’s refreshing habit of bluntly explicating the Republican will to power without the customary pretexts. The conservative movement’s finest minds have spent years developing elaborate legal and constitutional arguments for positions like restricting ballot access, denying statehood to citizens of the District of Columbia, and so forth. And Trump simply comes along and bellows out that his objection is to Democrats having political representation.

The emerging conservative campaign to discipline social media follows the pattern. Party ideologists like Josh Hawley are working up neutral-sounding pretexts for the state to pressure tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote more Republican-friendly content, and Trump’s regulatory appointees are carefully attempting to follow through. But Trump has no patience for the subtleties of the game, and instead blurts out the bottom line.

The current pretext for Trump’s complaint is Twitter’s decision to begin implementing some mild fact-checking measures. Yesterday, the social-media firm appended contextual news articles to Trump tweets claiming both ongoing and future voter fraud on a massive scale. The well-intentioned effort seems very likely to fail. It will prove impossible to settle on a remotely workable answer to the problem........

© Daily Intelligencer