Donald Trump will lose special Twitter protection in January

US President Donald Trump will be subject to the same Twitter rules as any other user when President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20, the social media company confirmed this week.

Twitter posts “public interest” notices on some illegal tweets from “world leaders” that would otherwise be removed. Instead, such tweets from political candidates and elected or government officials are hidden by a warning, and Twitter takes steps to limit their reach.

However, the company said this treatment does not apply to former incumbents.

“This political framework applies to current world leaders and candidates for office and not to individuals who no longer hold these positions,” a Twitter spokesman said in a statement.

Multiple warnings and labels have been added to tweets from across the Internet @realDonaldTrump Account, including many since Tuesday’s election, that raised unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud. He first hid one of his tweets behind a “public interest” label in May when the president broke the company’s policy of glorifying violence.

According to Facebook’s guidelines, after Biden’s inauguration in January, Trump’s posts no longer appear to be exempt from fact-checking verification by Facebook’s partners.

Facebook’s online policy states that politicians whose posts are exempt from fact-checking will be defined as candidates for office, current public officials and many of their cabinet members, as well as political parties and their leaders.

It states: “Former candidates for office or former civil servants will continue to be covered by our third party fact-checking program.”

Facebook didn’t respond to Reuters questions about how it would treat Trump’s account.

Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania on Saturday put the Democratic presidential candidate above the 270 electoral college vote required for the presidency. Republican Trump has not admitted and vowed to challenge the result in court.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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