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Saturday Nov 07 2020
Web Desk

Trump’s ‘special treatment’ on Twitter at stake if he loses US Election 2020

Web Desk
A Reuters file image of US President Donald Trump.

For Donald Trump, the stakes are higher. If the polls don't favour the business tycoon, he will not only lose the White House but also the special treatment he enjoyed on Twitter - his favourite outlet to rant. 

According to a report in The Guardian, Trump will not be subjected to the same special treatment as a "newsworthy individual" if he loses the US Election 2020 to Joe Biden. 

Twitter’s policy around newsworthiness protects certain people – such as elected officials with more than 250,000 followers – from having their accounts suspended or banned for rule infractions that would otherwise lead to severe penalties.

However, the same policy has led the social media company to mute but not remove 12 tweets from the US president over the past week that alleged Democrats for the vote theft in recent elections.

But, now the officials of the micro-blogging site have clarified that the policy does not apply to former elected officials.

“Twitter’s approach to world leaders, candidates, and public officials is based on the principle that people should be able to choose to see what their leaders are saying with clear context,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Guardian.

“This means that we may apply warnings and labels, and limit engagement to certain Tweets. This policy framework applies to current world leaders and candidates for office, and not private citizens when they no longer hold these positions.”

Read more: Trump's claim of Democrats 'trying to steal election' flagged by Twitter as 'misleading'

Suspending his account

With this expected transition of power, human rights groups and lawmakers have renewed calls to suspend the president’s account even before the possibility of Trump leaving the office in January.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly of Virginia called on Twitter in a tweet to “suspend his account”.

“This is pure disinformation. Valid votes are being counted. This is America, not Russia,” he said in response to Trump tweets that included baseless suggestions of voter fraud.

Read more: US election plagued by online misinformation about legitimate ballot counting

Misleading tweets

Throughout the campaign Trump has sought to cast doubt on the integrity of the electoral process, repeatedly alleging for instance that mail-in voting will lead to fraud.

Twitter, long criticised for not acting against baseless Trump claims, has asserted itself in recent months, flagging such comments and others in which Trump was seen as glorifying violence.

Recently, Twitter flagged and hid a Trump tweet claiming voter fraud, saying "some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process."

Trump said nothing to back up his charge of theft in his tweet.