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In a polarised world, even checking facts on Twitter becomes politicised | Kenan Malik

In a polarised world, even checking facts on Twitter becomes politicised | Kenan Malik thumbnail

Trump wants to stifle critics. But his battle with social media giants throws up real free speech issues

Like many Twitter debates, the war of words that broke out last week between Donald Trump and the social media company may seem inconsequential, even infantile. However, the spat raises important questions about the relationship between the public, technology companies and the state, especially in a polarised America.

On Tuesday, Twitter attached a health warning to two tweets by Donald Trump about postal ballots, urging users to “get the facts”. Two days later, a furious Trump retaliated with an executive order threatening to curtail legal protections for social media companies. Twitter then upped the stakes by labelling a later Trump tweet about the Minneapolis riots as “glorifying violence”.

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