Twitter has added another warning label to another one of Donald Trump’s tweets
Weeks after the social media platform and the president had a public back-and-forth, Twitter has put another warning label on another of Donald Trump’s tweets, this time after the president shared an altered video of a pair of toddlers, made to look like a CNN broadcast with the headline, “Terrified todler [SIC] runs from racist baby.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
It’s pretty clear to anyone with eyes that the video isn’t from a real CNN broadcast. If you ignore the blatant misspelling of “todler,” it’s even tagged with “@carpedonktum,” the name of the meme creator who made it. Twitter posted a warning on the tweet, flagging it as “manipulated media,” which linked to a page with reputable sources explaining the origins of the video and how we know it’s fake.
Twitter added that “multiple journalists confirmed that the video, which was shared by President Trump, is edited and features a fake CNN chyron. The original CNN story, which is from 2019, reported on a friendship between two toddlers.”
So @POTUS just tweeted a fake, suggesting @CNN covered these toddlers like this. In reality this is how CNN reported this in 2019: Internet falls in love with these two toddlers hugging https://t.co/ydsxu8lTOC https://t.co/FHC7TgQeMo
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) June 19, 2020
So not only did Trump share a video of a doctored CNN piece, but this “racist baby” propaganda video is supposedly a PSA about the spread of “fake news.” So in trying to stop the spread of fake news, Trump just shared some literal fake news.
This move by Twitter is sure to reignite tensions between Trump and the platform. Just weeks ago, Twitter broke from its longstanding policy of not intervening with what the president says on its platform, and added a “Fact Check” label to one of Trump’s tweets, directing readers to reputable news sources that told the real story — similar to what Twitter is doing with this deranged “racist baby” tweet. Soon after that, Twitter hid one of Trump’s tweets, saying it violated their community standards by “glorifying violence.” In that tweet, the president had said protesters in Minneapolis in the wake of George Floyd’s murder would be shot.
Trump responded by signing an executive order that begins to chip away at the legal protections social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have when it comes to the content of their users posts. Facebook has also been taking steps in recent months to stop the spread of fake news and misinformation on its platform and founder Mark Zuckerberg has become more and more vocal about the roles social media sites play in stopping propaganda like the video Trump just shared.
Still, Twitter has been one of the president’s favorite ways to spread misinformation to his 82 million followers since well before the election, and we can’t imagine him stopping unless the platform gets a lot harsher with its criticisms and censure. Sure, we’d love to see it. But is it likely to actually happen? Only time will tell.