SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — President Donald Trump on Friday morning tweeted a link to a fake news story headlined “Twitter Shuts Down Entire Network To Slow Spread Of Negative Biden News.”
The president appeared to believe it was true, not realizing that the source of the story, The Babylon Bee, is a self-proclaimed satire website.
“Wow, this has never been done in history. This includes his really bad interview last night. Why is Twitter doing this. Bringing more attention to Sleepy Joe & Big T,” the president tweeted along with the link to the story.
Trump even tagged The Babylon Bee’s account in the caption. Their Twitter bio reads, “Fake news you can trust.”
The website’s fake story, in part, reads:
“[Twitter CEO Jack] Dorsey smashed a glass box in his office reading ‘Break In Case Of Bad Publicity For Democrats.’ Inside the case was a sledgehammer for smashing Twitter’s servers.”
The Babylon Bee had also tweeted out a satire story headlined “Trump Spends Afternoon Shouting From White House Balcony During Twitter Outage.” Their About Us section reads: “The Babylon Bee is the world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims. We write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff and everyday life.”
Twitter did go down for a while on Thursday evening before the two presidential candidates’ individual town halls.
The @TwitterSupport account tweeted at 7:16 p.m. ET that the company had some trouble with its internal systems, “and don’t have any evidence of a security breach or hack.”
A few hours later, Twitter said the site should be working as expected for everyone.
Trump in another tweet appeared to believe it was Twitter intentionally protecting his presidential opponent Joe Biden, saying “Big Tech & Lamestream Media are working hard to hide this corruption!!!”
This is not the first the president has used his Twitter account to spread misinformation — whether intentionally or not. Trump, who constantly attacks news outlets for being “fake news,” has retweeted a false conspiracy theory about Osama Bin Laden.
His town hall host, Savanna Guthrie, pressed him on spreading the debunked conspiracy on Thursday, to which he responded: “That was a retweet, that was an opinion of somebody…I’ll put it out there, people can decide for themselves.”
Trump’s tweets and Facebook posts have also been recently flagged as misinformation by social media companies. Earlier this month, he had tweeted that “sometimes over 100,000” people die from the flu, and said COVID-19 is “far less lethal” in most populations. This is incorrect.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 34,200 American deaths from influenza in the 2018-2019 season. As of October 2020, more than 209,000 people have died in the U.S. alone from the coronavirus.
The Babylon Bee responded to Trump’s attention by coming out with another story, “President Trump Declares The Babylon Bee His Most-Trusted News Source.”
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