Under new ownership, Twitter has taken “fact-checking” to a new level and swiftly played with the meaning of content moderation. Elon Musk, the new CEO of the social media platform, has begun to kick around different approaches to ensuring that Twitter becomes a digital square that is open to free and fair debate.
Within the context of Musk’s preliminary Twitter experiments, Joe Biden received an embarrassing blow on Friday to his already tattered credibility.
Per Fox Business, Biden was fact-checked by Twitter for erroneously inflating the number of corporations that were making billions of dollars and allegedly paying “zero in federal taxes.”
Some Twitter users noted that the tweet had been tagged by users who “added context they thought people might want to know.”
Biden’s tweet reads: “Let me give you the facts. In 2020, 55 corporations made $40 billion. And they paid zero in federal taxes. My Inflation Reduction Act puts an end to this.”
However, Twitter users, in what appeared to be a temporary but experimental feature, added links to external articles countering Biden’s claims. The correction reads: “Out of the 55 corporations the tweet references, only 14 had earnings greater than $1 billion and would be eligible under Biden’s law.”
The context box also included an opportunity for Twitter users to rate whether the information was helpful or not in providing more context for Biden’s information.
While much speculation has arisen over the past week since Musk officially took control of Twitter, he clarified on Friday afternoon that there had not yet been any official changes to the content moderation policies.
His clarification was preceded by a tweet where Musk stated, “Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”