Author: Muslim Advocates | Date: 29 May 2020
Early this morning, Twitter put a disclaimer on a tweet from President Trump that promotes violence against the protestors in Minneapolis, in violation of the company’s policies. Here is a quote reacting to Twitter’s action from Muslim Advocates Special Counsel for Anti-Muslim Bigotry Madihha Ahussain:
“Twitter should be praised for finally doing something to enforce its rules when it comes to President Trump. His tweets flagged by Twitter clearly promote violence spread disinformation about elections. This is a long-overdue step and we hope other social media companies like Facebook do the same and stop giving the president free rein to use their platforms to promote hate and disinformation.”
Also last night, we issued the following statement from Madihha Ahussain about President Trump's social media executive order:
“Based on what has been reported, President Trump’s stunt executive order is not about free speech or fairness. It is solely about bullying social media companies into allowing him and his allies to say whatever they want on those companies’ platforms, regardless of how hateful and dangerous. It’s telling that this executive order was sparked by Twitter fact-checking the president’s tweets, a long-overdue and commendable act that we hope to see more of in the future. For years, the president has used the false narrative of anti-conservative bias to threaten social media companies into giving him free rein to promote hate and disinformation, and this executive order dangerously puts the full force of the federal government behind that threat.
Unfortunately, social media companies have taken the bait. Facebook in particular has repeatedly capitulated to the president’s demands by having numerous, secret meetings with conservative pundits; agreeing to conduct a pandering anti-conservative bias audit; making disingenuous, right-wing outlets like The Daily Caller official Facebook fact-checkers and accepting millions from the Trump campaign to run misleading ads with no fact-checking whatsoever. Meanwhile, violent white nationalists and anti-Muslim bigots continue to use social media platforms to organize and spread hateful content that encourages threats and violence against American Muslims and other marginalized communities—as we saw when a gunman used Facebook to stream his attack on two New Zealand mosques last year.
We need perspective here. Hateful content, which demonizes and dehumanizes Muslims and other vulnerable communities and directly threatens our safety, thrives on Twitter and Facebook, and these companies are not doing enough to stop it. The president’s bleating about anti-conservative bias and free speech is just a smokescreen aimed at pressuring these companies into allowing this unacceptable status quo to continue.”