Twitter said it “inadvertently” prevented users from sharing Donald Trump’s tweets that repeated false allegations of voter fraud on Saturday.
For at least an hour, users were unable to share, like, or reply to three of the president’s posts that had been flagged as “disputed,” and the retweet feature was also disabled.
Users could only “quote only tweet” posts alongside their own comments.
It initially emerged that the social media company had stepped up enforcement of Mr. Trump’s account in response to his relentless campaign to discredit last month’s election results.
But users later discovered they could now share the tweets, which carried the now familiar accompaniment: “This claim about voter fraud is disputed.”
In a statement, Twitter said, “We have inadvertently taken steps to limit engagement on the tagged Tweet you referred to. This action has been undone and you can now engage with the Tweet, but in accordance with our civic integrity policy, it will continue to be tagged in order to give more context to anyone who may view the Tweet.
“Throughout the year, we’ve made product changes and policy updates to encourage more thoughtful review and reduce the risk of misleading information being spread on Twitter.”
In the weeks following November 3, which saw Mr. Trump lose to Democrat Joe Biden, Twitter reported dozens of tweets from the president referring to alleged voter fraud.
But the company has come under fire for refusing to label the tweets as “contested,” rather than outright lies, and has rarely blocked users from engaging in the posts.
In a 21-minute flurry of misrepresentation on Saturday, the president repeated baseless allegations that the elections had been “stolen”; that he won the election “in a landslide”; and that it won a majority of “legal votes”.
Users trying to share or like the posts initially received the following message: “We’re trying to prevent a Tweet like this that violates Twitter rules from reaching more people, so we’ve disabled most ways. to engage with him. If you want to talk about it, you can always retweet with a comment. ”
In a subsequent tweet that was not temporarily restricted, Mr. Trump wrote: “WE BEGIN TO FIGHT !!!”
It comes after the conservative-controlled Supreme Court of Wisconsin agreed to hear arguments over the weekend over President Trump’s trial aimed at overturning his loss in battlefield state.
The Trump campaign, which has lost a number of similar lawsuits across the country, wants more than 221,000 ballots to be struck off.
This includes mail ballots cast early and in person; postal votes for people claiming “indefinite detention” status; absentee ballots collected by Madison Parks election officers; and postal ballots where the clerks filled in the missing information on the ballot envelopes.
The court’s decision to take the case came hours after a lower court judge ruled against Trump. Saturday’s highly unusual arguments will come exactly 48 hours before Monday’s scheduled Electoral College vote.
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