Twitter has been under pressure for years to censor, all the way to calls to ban President Trump from the platform; this pressure coming from his opponents. Several months ago, this highly influential social media found a “happy medium” by beginning to slap labels on Trump’s tweets that dealt with the integrity of the then upcoming vote and the possibility of fraud in light of the many procedural changes introduced for this particular election.
Now, Trump’s election night tweets are being censored on Twitter as well, for pointing out what he said were procedural irregularities, like allowing people to cast their ballots after the polling stations had already closed.
Trump is apparently too big to be banned (“suspended”) unlike many of his fellow conservatives, but the labels placed on his tweets are clearly meant to muzzle the president and discredit the content he posts on the platform.
When in one tweet Trump outright accused the other side of trying to steal the election, the label corrected his free speech by saying it “might be” misleading and is “disputed” – in other words, there was no proof at thats time that what he said was not true, but Twitter apparently needs no proof and was nevertheless meticulously suppressing his messages, disabling comments, retweets, and favorites. Otherwise, labeled messages in Trump’s timeline require action, i.e., clicking on the warning to be seen at all and can’t be retweeted or liked.
For that reason users have been circumventing Twitter’s own tools and relying on the good old screenshots in order to be able to share content on and from the platform.
As expected, censorship of Trump himself is only the tip of the iceberg, as many of his supporters and affiliates have seen a similar fate. Thus the Philly GOP account was unable to post a video allegedly showing irregularities taking place in polling stations in Philadelphia and throughout the state of Pennsylvania – one of the key swing states that might easily determine the outcome of this race that appears to be tight.
In the Philly GOP accounts’ case, it was bringing up the issue of possible mail-in voting fraud – a practice long contested by conservatives – that triggered Twitter’s censorship action.