Donald Trump

Trump Takes on Twitter

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Many are watching to see how President Donald Trump will react now that Twitter, for the first time, has started fact checking his tweets.

"I was incredibly shocked actually to see that this happened," said Emerson College Professor and social media expert David Gerzof Richard.

Gerzof Richard never thought Twitter would go down that road, as it has always stayed away from correcting the president and other heads of state.

"The way that Twitter and Facebook and a lot of these platforms work, is they really depend on their community to self-police," he said.

Trump tweets made other headlines this week, when the president tweeted in support of a baseless conspiracy theory that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was involved in the death of an intern, Lori Klausutis, in his congressional office decades ago.

Her husband, TJ, pleaded with Twitter to take down the tweets, and two prominent Republicans, Rep. Lynn Cheney and Sen. Mitt Romney, did the same.

"Joe can weather vile, baseless accusations but TJ? His heart is breaking. Enough already," Romney tweeted.

A spokesperson for Twitter said the company was working on making changes, though it did not agree to remove the tweets.

"This is the slippery slope that Twitter is getting itself into," Gerzof Richard said, explaining that by fact-checking one of Trump's political tweets, Twitter will now be expected to fact-check his other tweets.

"And whether you like the president or hate him, he does tweet some outrageous things over time," he said.

Gerzof Richard says Trump is now using the controversy to move the conversation off of the economy and COVID-19 by saying he is being unfairly attacked by big tech and to promote himself as a champion of the First Amendment.

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