President Donald Trump
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Donald Trump on Thursday singled out a Twitter employee while attacking the social media giant after it fact-checked his tweets on mail-in ballots.
Trump, in a tweet, shared the Twitter handle for the company’s “Head of Site Integrity,” Yoel Roth, who co-wrote a May 11 blog post explaining how the website would change the way it handled misleading information. That post announced that Twitter would use new labels and warning messages on some tweets where readers may be “confused or misled by the content.”
The president’s tweet came as Trump planned to sign an executive order Thursday that would push the Federal Communications Commission to set new rules on some websites’ protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The law as it stands largely exempts those publications from being held liable for much of the content on their websites.
On Tuesday, Twitter for the first time added warning tags to two of Trump’s tweets about mail-in ballots, inviting readers to “get the facts” and calling the president’s claims “unsubstantiated.”
Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon: “So ridiculous to see Twitter trying to make the case that Mail-In Ballots are not subject to FRAUD.”
“How stupid, there are examples, & cases, all over the place. Our election process will become badly tainted & a laughingstock all over the World,” Trump’s tweet said.
The president added, “Tell that to your hater,” followed by Roth’s Twitter handle.
Roth had reportedly posted critical messages about Trump and his supporters in the past. “I’m just saying, we fly over those states that voted for a racist tangerine for a reason,” Roth tweeted in November 2016.
The Trump campaign has tweeted about Roth at least twice since Wednesday. And Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., referenced Roth – without using his name – in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey criticizing the decision to brand Trump’s tweets with warning labels.
But Twitter told Buzzfeed News that Roth was not responsible for fact-checking Trump’s tweets. “No one person at Twitter is responsible for our policies or enforcement actions, and it’s unfortunate to see individual employees targeted for company decisions,” the spokesperson told Buzzfeed.
Dorsey tweeted Wednesday night that “there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me. Please leave our employees out of this.”
Twitter referred CNBC to Dorsey’s tweet when asked for additional comment on the president’s post.
After Twitter’s fact-check, Trump accused the company of “interfering” in the 2020 presidential election and trying to “CENSOR” him.
“If that happens, we no longer have our freedom. I will never let it happen!” Trump tweeted Wednesday night.