‘Welcome to Elon Musk's Twitter’: White House deletes tweet after context added

Nov 03, 2022 10:18 AM IST

Elon Musk, the world's richest person, who took ownership of Twitter last week, hailed the correction saying the feature that produced it "was awesome".

The White House on Wednesday deleted a tweet about US pensioners getting the “biggest increase in social security checks” in a decade after Twitter appended a note generated by users highlighting the lack of context.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk took ownership of Twitter last week.(AFP)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took ownership of Twitter last week.(AFP)

In the tweet, the White House said the senior citizens had received the biggest benefit hike in 10 years “thanks to President Biden's leadership.”

The note generated by users, however, argued that the boost was in fact due to annual cost of living adjustment triggered by high inflation – a mechanism that has existed since 1972.

"Seniors will receive a large Social Security benefits increase due to the annual cost of living adjustment, which is based on the inflation rate. President Nixon in 1972 signed into law automatic benefit adjustments tied to the Consumer Price Index," the note read.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the tweet was deleted because "it did not have that context", reported AFP.

The note was part of Twitter's Birdwatch program, which adds comments to relevant posts if enough people with a wide range of opinions find them "helpful."

Tech billionaire Elon Musk, who took ownership of Twitter last week, hailed the community notes feature saying the “goal is to make Twitter the most accurate source of information on Earth, without regard to political affiliation.”

After the White House deleted the tweet, Spike Cohen, Libertarian Party's nominee for US vice president in 2020, said, “Welcome to @elonmusk's Twitter.”

To this, Musk replied, “The system is working.”

Several US media reports suggest that Musk is planning a major overhaul of the social media company, which includes making it a haven for “free speech.” Some people who work in Twitter’s Trust and Safety organization are currently unable to alter or penalize accounts that break rules around misleading information, offensive posts and hate speech, reported Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter.

“There are some exceptions, as the most high-impact violations that would involve real-world harm are handled manually,” it said.

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