Since Election Day 2020, President Trump has claimed, without evidence, that there were some shenanigans in the presidential election — voter fraud, dead people voting and the like.
Social media was having none of it.
In a 24-hour period between mid-morning Thursday and Friday, Twitter censored six of Mr. Trump’s posts. The posts weren’t immediately visible. Instead, there was this note attached by Twitter: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”
Site visitors could still click “view” on the right side to see the post.
In one post, Mr. Trump said: “All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud. Plenty of proof - just check out the Media. WE WILL WIN! America First!”
A couple of other posts from Mr. Trump included all-capitals posts saying “stop the count!” and “any vote that came in after election day will not be counted!”
Twitter also provided another link aside many of the president’s tweets that took visitors to a page titled “civic integrity policy.”
“What is in violation of this policy?” the pages stated. “This policy addresses 4 categories of misleading behavior and content:
In one category, “misleading information about outcomes,” Twitter states, “We will label or remove false or misleading information intended to undermine public confidence in an election or other civic process. This includes but is not limited to:
• disputed claims that could undermine faith in the process itself, such as unverified information about election rigging, ballot tampering, vote tallying, or certification of election results; and
• misleading claims about the results or outcome of a civic process which calls for or could lead to interference with the implementation of the results of the process, e.g.
• claiming victory before election results have been certified, inciting unlawful conduct to prevent the procedural or practical implementation of election results (note that our violent threats policy may also be relevant for threats not covered by this policy).
Meanwhile, Facebook removed a group called “Stop the Steal” that was organizing protests at vote-counting facilities across the nation.
“The group was organized around the delegitimization of the election process, and we saw worrying calls for violence from some members of the group,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
But the media, both social and otherwise, did just the opposite after Hillary Clinton got crushed in the 2016 presidential election.
Almost immediately after she lost in a humiliating defeat to a reality-TV host, the sore loser claimed — like Mr. Trump now, without a shred of evidence — that Russia had sought to infiltrate the U.S. election and had somehow affected the outcome by posting false stories on social media.
But Mrs. Clinton’s conspiracy theory took off in the mainstream media, which reported every jot and tittle of the made-up story as she repeatedly claimed the election had been “stolen.”
That ended up not being remotely true (saying it over and over doesn’t make it so — and Mrs. Clinton has been telling anyone who would listen for the last four years that she was robbed by Vladimir Putin).
Mr. Trump was investigated for 675 days by special counsel Robert Mueller and a team of 19 lawyers. Despite 2,800 subpoenas and 500 witness interviews, the counsel’s office found no evidence “that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate” conspired or “knowingly coordinated” with Russians during the 2016 campaign.
Still, both the MSM and social media had no problem boosting the claim theory that Mrs. Clinton was robbed.
After last week’s election, Mrs. Clinton apparently wasn’t open to the idea that some outside force altered the outcome of the election — as she had so long claimed cost her the 2016 election.
“The voters have spoken, and they have chosen @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris to be our next president and vice president,” Mrs. Clinton tweeted Saturday after The Associated Press, CNN, ABC, NBC and other news outlets called the race for Mr. Biden.
“It’s a history-making ticket, a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Onward, together,” she wrote.
Social and mainstream media was all in when Mrs. Clinton made her claims, but not so much now that Mr. Trump is making his.
It’s too early to tell what will happen in Election 2020, but one thing we do know.
Mr. Trump’s claims that an outside force — voter fraud — altered the outcome of the 2020 election are not at all equal, in the eyes of the MSM or social media, to Mrs. Clinton’s claims that an outside force — Russia — altered the 2016 results.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephcurl.