Twitter is fact checking President Donald Trump’s tweets, but are their fact checkers using foreign disinformation?
Since the election, Twitter has censored over a third of President Trump’s communications while taking no actions on Joe Biden’s, not even his premature claims of victory.
However, Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) caught this slip up – they’re using foreign state-owned media to do so. In one instance, Qatar.
When Twitter users click on the “fact checking” real estate encroaching on President Trump’s tweet about legal poll watcher violations in key cities counting ballots, they are brought to a disclaimer page which lists Twitter’s opinion that voter fraud is rare.
The page does not then list any actual stories of voter fraud like the recent DOJ’s indictment of a former U.S. Congressman’s buying of illegal votes in Philadelphia, one of the cities in which Trump is currently fighting for observers rights.
Instead, users are then guided to an posting by Al Jazeera, a state-owned and controlled media in Qatar.
Qatar is an absolute monarchy which has a track record of not being immune from private interests, and where the ruling family can bypass the rule of law.
Although Qatar remains one of the less worrisome Middle East nations on anti-corruption indexes, the complete control by the monarch of state institutions and policies leaves no space for bottom-up calls for reform to even have any room for citizen dissent. Qatari people show a complete lack of interest in, nor do they have many avenues for, political participation.
Making Twitter’s choice for allowing their foreign interference into the U.S. election more puzzling than if they used another democratic nation’s fact checking systems.
President Trump has also made public comments regarding Qatar’s radical ideology as a threat to peace in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world: