Aside from a string of tweets from Jack Dorsey, Twitter's PR machine has been strangely quiet during the dust-up over the extremely controversial decision to tag several tweets from President Trump as "misinformation".
And now we know why. Among the reasons Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg cited for why social media companies shouldn't strive to be "arbiters of truth" is the Sisyphean task of filtering, screening and analyzing an endless stream of information. Given the massive user bases of these companies, consistency would be nearly impossible, opening the door to yet more accusations of bias. And for what?
Perhaps that's why Twitter has spent the last day or so retroactively tagging tweets from certain officials with the Chinese government that also contain "misinformation" - some of it claiming that the coronavirus originated in the US.
Mouthpieces for Beijing, and for practically every government, even Venezuela and Iran (two countries that have drawn scrutiny from Twitter in the form of mass account-deletion) are active on Twitter. And one of the most effective arguments against Twitter's decision to label Trump's tweets is that the company hasn't done nearly enough to filter out far more sinister actors, like ISIS recruiters, or stooges from Russia, China, Iran and America's myriad geopolitical enemies - and some of our allies too.
Interestingly, a quick look at the foreign ministry spokesman's feed shows that only a few tweets have been labeled.
Furthermore, aside from the occasional reference to the “terrorists” threatening law and order in Hong Kong, the feed looks almost identical to one of those left-wing rose emoji accounts with 5k-10k followers.
Meanwhile, Taiwan has continued to poke and prod at Beijing by speaking out in defense of Hong Kong. A top Taiwanese official said prosperity and stability cannot be easily disrupted by separatist forces, rebutting Beijing’s accusations of “terrorism”.
As the conversation about Twitter’s role in moderating ‘the conversation’ unfurls on twitter, two analysts with Height Capital Markets argued that the White House’s new executive order has “more bark than bite”. Investors, looking at this morning’s performance, have taken a decidedly different view.
President Donald Trump’s pending social media executive order is likely “more bark than bite,” Height Capital Markets analysts Chase White and Clayton Allen wrote in a note, citing news reports suggesting the order will address Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the liability shield intended to protect Internet platforms from content posted on their sites.
Meanwhile, we're seeing some interesting action in twitter shares premarket...
But whatever happens, we'll definitely be keeping an eye on the Ayatollah's twitter feed. Will the company dare to apply these misinformation labels to Iran's supreme leader?