Dec 4, 2017

Twitter comes under fire for Trump's tweets — again

Jack Dorsey. Photo: Richard Drew / AP

Twitter has been defending its choices not to interfere with Donald Trump's tweets for quite a while now—like it did last week after he retweeted anti-Muslim videos—but many critics are growing frustrated with the company's stance.

What happened: On Wednesday, Trump retweeted anti-Muslim videos posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, an ultranationalist group. Though Twitter originally said that it's not taking down the videos because they are newsworthy and of public interest, it issued a correction the following day, clarifying that it was because the company's policy for media permits them.

Between the lines: A growing number of users are no longer buying the company's excuses for not penalizing Trump for his tweets. Some are even openly asking Twitter and CEO Jack Dorsey whether the real reasons are the company's need to keep Trump using the service (Dorsey denies this), the huge amount of traffic and attention they bring to the service, and because he's the U.S. president, giving him more leeway in what he posts.

Bigger picture: Twitter is caught in a larger debate over what kind of editorial role social networks have in moderating the content their users post on their platforms.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 5,618,829 — Total deaths: 351,146 — Total recoveries — 2,311,404Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 1,681,793 — Total deaths: 98,933 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is “really quite evident” against hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Tech: Zipline drones deliver masks to hospitals; vaccines could be next
  5. Business: The downsides of remote work could diminish recent gains — PPP failed to get money to industries and areas most in need.
  6. 🏒Sports: NHL unveils 24-team playoff plan to return from hiatus.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci: Data is “really quite evident” against hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus

Anthony Fauci told CNN Wednesday that the scientific data "is really quite evident now about the lack of efficacy" of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment.

Driving the news: The comments came in response to news that France on Wednesday banned the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus, after a large retrospective study in The Lancet found an increased risk of heart problems and death among coronavirus patients who took the anti-malarial drug.

Trump has turned Big Tech's speech rules into a political football

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter made headlines Tuesday after labeling two election-related tweets from President Trump as potentially misleading — the company’s first action against the president’s tweets, which often test its policies on misinformation and abuse.

The big picture: Twitter's unprecedented move, which swiftly drew Trump's fury, was just one of four controversies over the last 24 hours involving tech platforms grappling with free speech issues. And all of them, Axios' Sara Fischer and I report, reflect what a partisan issue the policing of social media content has become.