Trump rages at Twitter with baseless claim that it is tampering with his followers because of political bias
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- US President Donald Trump renewed his attack on Twitter, claiming that the social network is tampering with his followers because it is biased in favor of the Democrats.
- Twitter has purged suspicious accounts, resulting in declines in followers for some prominent users, but there is no evidence that Trump has been targeted for political reasons.
- The president has actually seen a healthy increase in followers since the start of October.
US President Donald Trump has renewed his attack on the perceived liberal bias of America's tech giants, again singling out Twitter for tampering with his followers.In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump said: "Facebook, Twitter and Google are so biased toward the Dems it is ridiculous! Twitter, in fact, has made it much more difficult for people to join @realDonaldTrump. They have removed many names & greatly slowed the level and speed of increase. They have acknowledged-done NOTHING!"Advertisement
It is not the first time Trump has raised concerns about his Twitter followers. In late October, the president said Twitter had "removed many people from my account" and made it harder to follow him.
"They have stifled growth to a point where it is obvious to all. A few weeks ago it was a Rocket Ship, now it is a Blimp! Total Bias?," he wrote.Read more: This graph shows 90% of political donations from Google workers went to the Democrats
Twitter said at the time that any decline in growth could be linked to its purge of suspicious accounts that spread misinformation. "Many prominent accounts have seen follower counts drop, but the result is higher confidence that the followers they have are real, engaged people," a spokesman told Reuters.Trump's Twitter following has actually increased healthily since the start of October. Internet archives show he had 54.8 million followers on October 1, compared with 56.3 million on Tuesday - a rise of 1.5 million followers.This is roughly the same rate of growth in Trump's Twitter followers as over the previous three months. Between July and October, his following increased from 53.1 million to 54.8 million - an increase of 1.7 million followers.Advertisement
Business Insider has contacted Twitter for comment.
Trump has repeatedly called out Facebook, Google, and Twitter for favouring the Democrats without providing evidence to support his claims. Indeed, experts say that there is little to support his accusations.Ari Ezra Waldman, director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at the New York Law School, told Business Insider this month that there is "zero" evidence to support the theory that Google is fixing search results against the Republicans. Republicans grilled Google CEO Sundar Pichai earlier this month about supposed search bias against conservative voices.Advertisement
"What comes up on search results on Google, for example, is the product of Google's highly complex and proprietary algorithm, which is sensitive to what other people click on, share, and so forth," Waldman said.
"So, if critical articles about Donald Trump are coming up first, that just means that critical articles about Donald Trump are being shared more, clicked on more, and searched for more."