Jeremy Stein - Journal

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I’m late to the party, but I’d like to comment on Twitter “fact-checking” Trump’s tweet.

I’m disappointed.

Of all of the claims the president has posted, that is the one Twitter decided to “fact-check”? It was clearly an opinion, expressed in his typical hyperbolic fashion. How can you fact-check a prediction about the future? What if I said that there’s NO WAY (ZERO!) that the Seahawks will win the next Super Bowl? Yeah, it’s unsubstantiated. Many of us have unsubstantiated opinions that we enjoy promoting.

What about when he tweeted that he “never called Meghan Markle ‘nasty'”? That can be demonstrated as false. Or all the times that he wrote “the wall is under construction” before construction began?

Maybe it’s appropriate to point out that the prediction was unsubstantiated, but I feel like Twitter missed the opportunity to start off strong with a “this is clearly false” smack-down.

And, on another note, Twitter had better have a bevy of heavy-weight attorneys with an amazing plan. They just undid years of progress made by internet service companies. You can’t sue Facebook for libelous comments I publish there. They’re a platform (or “distributor”), not a publisher. They don’t vet what I write; they just host it. You need to sue me for my words.

If Twitter is annotating incorrect tweets, that implies that they approve of non-annotated tweets. They can’t close Pandora’s box now. That may be the dumbest decision a big tech company has ever made in the name of public good.

May 31, 2020 No Comments.

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