Donald Trump spent Wednesday morning publicly threatening to retaliate against Twitter, or shut Twitter down entirely, after the social network placed “fact check” warnings on two of his dishonest tweets. Then on Wednesday evening Trump bragged about a still-unseen executive order he’s supposedly signed, aimed at punishing Twitter.
Late on Wednesday night, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey decided he’d had enough of the threats and bluster, and he fired back at Trump. Dorsey tweeted a lengthy, yet important, response. While he didn’t mention Trump by name, he didn’t have to:
Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me. Please leave our employees out of this. We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make. This does not make us an “arbiter of truth.” Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions. Per our Civic Integrity policy, the tweets yesterday may mislead people into thinking they don’t need to register to get a ballot (only registered voters receive ballots). We’re updating the link on @realDonaldTrump’s tweet to make this more clear.
So there you have it. Jack Dorsey is telling Donald Trump and his acolytes to stop harassing Twitter’s employees, and come at him directly if they have a problem with how he’s handling these fact checks. We can surely expect Trump to respond to Dorsey’s thoughtful tweet by posting something idiotic in the morning.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report