President says he will ‘strongly regulate or close’ social media platforms after Twitter fact checks Trump tweets

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President Donald Trump listens during a meeting about the coronavirus with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, not pictured, in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting about the coronavirus with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, not pictured, in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump is threatening to “strongly regulate or close” social media platforms for allegedly silencing conservative voices.

“We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016,” Trump wrote in a Wednesday morning tweet. “We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!

This comes after Twitter labeled a tweet from President Donald Trump as misleading for the first time.

On Tuesday, the social media company highlighted two of Trump’s tweets in which the president claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to widespread voter fraud.

“Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” read a message beneath each tweet. It linked to a fact-check page the platform had created filled with further links and summaries of news articles debunking the assertion.

Twitter said the move was aimed at providing “context” around Trump’s remarks. But Twitter’s unprecedented decision is likely to raise further questions about its willingness to consistently apply the label to other Trump tweets that have been deemed misleading by third parties, particularly as the president has lobbed baseless allegations against former Rep. Joe Scarborough regarding the death of a congressional staffer years ago.

When asked by CNN’s Dana Bash on Tuesday about whether social media companies should take action against Trump for pushing conspiracy theories that a critic committed murder, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said: “I’m of the view that social media companies have to reexamine whether or not — for example, if you put something out saying that — that same outlandish thing that the president thinks … they should say it’s not true.”

Twitter said Tuesday that Trump’s tweets about mail-in voting did not violate the company’s rules because they don’t explicitly discourage people from voting. But, the company said, the label offers context surrounding Trump’s claims.

“These Tweets (here and here) contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots,” Twitter spokesperson Katie Rosborough told CNN Business in an email. “This decision is in line with the approach we shared earlier this month.”

Rosborough confirmed that this marks the first instances in which Twitter has labeled any Trump tweet as misleading.

Twitter did not immediately respond to questions about who assembled the fact-checking page or whether it was algorithmically generated.

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