- The Washington Times - Friday, October 16, 2020

President Trump promoted a satirical and clearly bogus article slamming Twitter on the social media service early Friday while raising concerns about its contents as if it was a legitimate report.

Mr. Trump shared a story from the satirical Babylon Bee site that jokingly claimed Twitter had shut down to slow the spread of negative news about Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden.

“Wow, this has never been done in history,” Mr. Trump said in his Twitter post hyping the bogus story. “Why is Twitter doing this,” he asked in the tweet.

The article, published Thursday, jokingly claimed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey shut down the service after he “smashed a glass box in his office reading ‘Break In Case Of Bad Publicity For Democrats’.”

“Dorsey ran downstairs and started smashing as many computers as he could, but he did need to ask for some help, as the hammer was pretty heavy,” reads part of the article Mr. Trump shared as real.

Twitter suffered an outage Thursday that caused issues for some users ahead of Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden participating in competing town hall events televised by NBC and ABC, respectively.

Mr. Trump, a prolific Twitter user, was asked about his social media activity during the ABC event after he recently shared a conspiracy theory on the platform about Mr. Biden and Osama bin Laden.

“That was a retweet. I’ll put it out there. People can decide for themselves. I don’t take a position,” Mr. Trump said during the town hall Thursday.

The incident occurred as Twitter faced criticism from Republicans such as Mr. Trump for blocking users from sharing a New York Post story containing emails purportedly belonging to Mr. Biden’s son.

Mr. Trump’s profile on Twitter is followed by more than 80 million other accounts. Tens of thousands of accounts had retweeted his post hyping the satirical article as of later Friday morning.

The Babylon Bee jokingly claimed in a new article published Friday that Mr. Trump declared the site his “most-trusted news source,” meanwhile.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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