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Twitter bans posts that “undermine confidence” in elections

Twitter announced Thursday, September 10 the establishment new moderation rules on its platform, banning a new set of post types that will now either be deleted or tagged as “Deceptive”.

The detailed list, published on the company's official website, is oddly specific: it includes “False or misleading information which creates confusion about the laws governing a democratic process”, the “Questionable claims that undermine confidence in the process [électoral], such as information on [fraude électorale] ; and the “Misleading claims about the results of a democratic process (…), such as claims of victory before the results have been certified, or incitement to illegal behavior that would prevent a peaceful transfer of power “.

Donald Trump tweets concerned

What these three categories have in common: they cover types of messages recently published by the President of the United States. Donald Trump has repeatedly asserted in recent weeks that postal voting was not secure (which is false), that electoral fraud for the benefit of Democrats was underway (which there is no evidence of), and even urged its supporters to vote on several occasions, an obviously illegal practice. He also declined to say whether he would accept the results of the election in case of defeat – a particularly inflammatory statement in a context, linked to the health situation, where it is possible that the final results of the presidential election will not are known until several days, or even weeks, after the vote.

From next week, if the President of the United States publishes such messages again, his tweets should be accompanied by a mention explaining that they are “Deceptive”. The social network considers that the tweets of heads of state or government should not be deleted, believing that they represent important information regardless of their content; however, he began to limit the dissemination of certain messages from Donald Trump, angering the President of the United States and also attracting criticism from some of his critics, who consider the rule too timid.

Read also Twitter masks a message from Donald Trump on Minneapolis deemed at risk

Possible very political appointment at the regulator

At the same time, the American press revealed that the Trump administration was planning to place, within the commission which heads the telecommunications regulator (Federal Communication Commission, FCC), a Republican who has made the strict supervision of social networks its horse of battle. Nathan Simington, reputed to have written a highly political “anti-censorship” decree for the Trump administration based on the – never-demonstrated – idea that social media willfully “censor” conservative posts on their platforms.

According to information from the specialized site The Verge, he would be tipped to replace moderate Republican Mike O’Rielly at the FCC, found guilty of criticizing the “anti-censorship” decree as dangerous to free speech.

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