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Trump declares Twitter national security threat after #DiaperDon trends following meltdown at miniature table

US president demands fundamental change to internet in angry late-night tweets

Tom Embury-Dennis
Friday 27 November 2020 15:01 GMT
Trump snaps at reporter objecting to his false claims about the election
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Donald Trump has angrily declared Twitter a national security threat after #DiaperDon went viral following a news conference in which he repeatedly complained about perceived injustices.

“Twitter is sending out totally false ‘Trends’ that have absolutely nothing to do with what is really trending in the world. They make it up, and only negative ‘stuff’,” the US president tweeted without providing evidence in the early hours of Friday morning.

Mr Trump did not say which trending topic upset him, but following Thursday’s press briefing, which saw him furiously assail a reporter from behind a surprisingly small desk, the hashtag #DiaperDon surged towards the top of Twitter’s trending list in the US and UK.

Read more: Follow latest Trump news live

“For purposes of National Security, Section 230 must be immediately terminated!!!” Mr Trump added, in reference to part of a 1996 law which protects websites from lawsuits over content posted by users. Any changes to these protections would fundamentally change how the internet works.

MeidasTouch, an anti-Trump political action committee, took credit for the initial use of the hashtag on Friday morning.

“We made #DiaperDon the number one trend in the US,” the group tweeted, adding: “Trump had a meltdown and wanted to declare Twitter trends a national security threat.”

After Mr Trump was spotted sitting at the miniature desk, another user wrote: “The staffer in charge of the optics of this tiny Resolute Desk must be a secret resister. His makeup artist has clearly always been one of us #DiaperDon”

Star Wars star Mark Hamill later tweeted: “Maybe if you behave yourself, stop lying to undermine a fair election & start thinking of what's good for the country instead of whining about how unfairly you are treated, you'll be invited to sit at the big boy's table #DiaperDon”

Mr Trump and many Republican allies have repeatedly attacked Section 230 and have used its possible repeal as a threat against large internet companies they perceive as biased against conservatives.

Twitter chief Jack Dorsey has said in the past that while employees may have a left-leaning bias, this does not affect how Twitter makes decisions on content on its platform.

Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that social media companies are in fact catering more to conservatives in order to avoid political bias.

This includes a recent report that suggested Facebook executives took the decision to end research that would make the social media site less polarising for fears it would unfairly target right-wing users.

In the tense briefing, Mr Trump again repeated his so-far unsubstantiated claims of “massive fraud” and said he is not ready to concede.

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