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Trump is at war with the truth, not Twitter

Twitter placed a public interest notice on a tweet from President Donald Trump, saying it "violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence." CNN's Hadas Gold reports.

Posted: May 29, 2020 3:56 AM
Updated: May 29, 2020 6:15 PM


Fact checks are not censorship. But that's what President Donald Trump is claiming in his new assault on social media platforms: an over-reaching executive order targeting social media companies, signed shortly after Twitter applied fact checks to two of Trump's tweets.

He's become an easily triggered orange snowflake of a man, desperate in his attempts to distract us from over 100,000 coronavirus deaths by ratcheting up his lies on Twitter.

This week, Twitter took a long overdue step toward sanity by adding a fact check to his repeated baseless claims about voter fraud.

This is a modest thing to flag against the backdrop of Trump repeating false suggestions that a cable news host committed murder, but we'll take it as a sign of progress.

But the president's comments about mail-in voting are especially insidious because they're another attempt to reduce confidence in the integrity of our elections. He's said that 'voting by mail is wrought with fraud and abuse.'

No, it's not.

Let's put aside that the president voted by mail in 2018 and in March of this year, and his press secretary Kayleigh McEnany voted by mail 11 times, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

In fact, according to figures cited by the Carnegie Endowment, almost a quarter of all ballots cast in 2016 were via absentee and currently five states have all-vote-by-mail -- Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Hawaii and Washington.

Get this: In the 20 years that Oregon has done mail-in ballots, it's had a grand total of 12 proven cases of voter fraud out of 100 million ballots cast.

In the 2018 election, the only case of demonstrated ballot fraud came from a North Carolina GOP campaign. And this week, the DOJ charged a West Virginia mailman with attempted election fraud for allegedly altering mail-in ballot requests from Democrat to Republican.

But let's get real -- the reason Trump opposes mail-in ballots is because he believes it will benefit Democrats. He's said so himself, telling Fox & Friends that 'you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again.'

That's not true -- especially now.

Republican Mike Garcia just won a congressional special election in California, boosted by mail-in votes.

More to the point, during an election in a pandemic, it stands to reason that those most likely to request vote-by-mail will be the elderly. Generally they're more likely to vote Republican, as they did in 2016 -- though there are signs Joe Biden could be very competitive with that cohort.

Obviously, good people can disagree in a democracy, but that doesn't mean that there's moral equivalence between people who buy into a lie for partisan reasons and people who try to calmly state the facts.

It's good to see Twitter finally tagging the President's tweets with fact checks. But we've got a long way to go where social media is concerned, especially given the Wall Street Journal's report showing that Facebook privately recognizes its algorithms exacerbate polarization -- finding that '64% of all extremist group joins are due to our recommendation tools' - but chose to essentially shelve the internal report. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told CNBC, 'I don't think Facebook or internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth.'

Now Trump is crying bias and playing the victim, backing up his grievance with an executive order that directs federal regulators to crack down on social media companies and possibly remove their legal shield against liability for statements made on their platforms. Trump also suggested he'd shut down Twitter if he could. Not exactly a free-market response but conservatives once again appear willing to abandon principle out of fealty to this president.

There are five months until the presidential election. It is a critical time for our country. The president is apparently incapable of behaving responsibly. That means we all need to hold ourselves to a higher standard than Trump when it comes to fearlessly stating the facts and not being intimidated by trolls or bots who try to excuse anything he does.

Because the President's not actually at war with journalism or social media platforms. He's at war with reality. He's at war with facts. He's at war with the truth.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32314

Reported Deaths: 542
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7081137
Marion462792
Washington446859
Umatilla294841
Clackamas237761
Malheur160926
Lane114317
Jackson11235
Deschutes81012
Yamhill75513
Jefferson5248
Polk52315
Linn50813
Morrow4986
Lincoln47813
Union4432
Benton3076
Wasco2823
Klamath2802
Hood River2480
Douglas2234
Clatsop2050
Josephine1972
Columbia1621
Coos1520
Baker922
Crook611
Tillamook520
Lake320
Curry310
Wallowa281
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant90
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 803660

Reported Deaths: 15516
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2657756488
Riverside581781189
San Bernardino53669922
Orange529041204
San Diego46001775
Kern31785361
Fresno28106382
Sacramento22026402
Alameda21028404
Santa Clara20882306
San Joaquin20194441
Stanislaus16452348
Contra Costa16327204
Tulare15897259
Ventura12617147
Imperial11781317
San Francisco1103899
San Mateo9785150
Monterey977270
Santa Barbara9003113
Merced8846140
Kings763177
Sonoma7320120
Marin6672117
Solano630963
Madera448165
Placer354244
San Luis Obispo351029
Butte280343
Yolo278955
Santa Cruz23199
Sutter169611
Napa166113
San Benito133111
Yuba11437
El Dorado10984
Mendocino89918
Shasta77717
Lassen7370
Glenn5743
Tehama5404
Lake53411
Nevada5317
Colusa5276
Humboldt5017
Calaveras31414
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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