Conservatives outraged over Twitter adding a “get the facts” button to two of President Donald Trump’s tweets are attacking one of the company’s employees en masse.
Yesterday, for the first time, Twitter added an addendum to two of Trump’s misleading tweets in which he claimed, falsely, that vote-by-mail leads to widespread voter fraud.
Clicking the link to “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” leads to a page on Twitter that includes a synopsis of the inaccuracies in Trump’s tweets.
“Trump falsely claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to ‘a Rigged Election,'” it states in part. “However, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud.”
Trump’s critics celebrated. Twitter has been criticized for years over its inaction when he violates its rules.
Conservatives, on the other hand, were predictably incensed.
Trump himself responded by incorrectly claiming that Twitter was “stifling free speech.” The First Amendment applies to censorship by the government, not by private companies. In fact, if Trump follows through on his threat to “not allow” Twitter to add an addendum to his tweets, Trump, as an agent of the government, would likely be violating the company’s free speech rights.
Trump also threatened to shut down social media companies if they don’t bend to his will.
It didn’t take long for the president’s supporters to land on a scapegoat for their Twitter ire: Yoel Roth, the company’s head of site integrity.
Roth’s offense is his history of tweeting disparagingly about Trump and his administration, including once likening Kellyanne Conway to Nazi propaganda maestro Joseph Goebbels. He also referred to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as a “personality-free bag of farts.”
“I’m almost ready to stop dwelling on how my friends are complicit in the election of Donald Trump. Almost,” Roth tweeted in January 2017.
After Roth’s tweets came to light, several prominent conservatives, including Conway and Trump’s campaign, urged people to attack him on the platform. They believe that Roth’s views make him unqualified to fact-check the president. Some seem to argue that people who oppose Trump shouldn’t be allowed to work at social media companies.
Twitter, for its part, has thus far stood by Roth.
“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,” a company spokesperson told Fox News.