Twitter boss Jack Dorsey unfollows Donald Trump

·2-min read

Twitter's chief executive Jack Dorsey has unfollowed Donald Trump's personal account just a few weeks ahead of the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden.

The social media platform has said it handled Mr Trump's account far more leniently than that of any other Twitter user, because it was in the public interest to see what the president of the United States was saying.

However, Twitter has said he will be treated like any other user when he leaves the White House, leading many to speculate he faces being banned for repeatedly tweeting false claims.

Despite this, the unfollowing is not likely to be connected to any such ban. Mr Dorsey has also unfollowed Ivanka Trump, Joe Biden, and even Kamala Harris according to @bigtechalert, an account that tracks Silicon Valley executives.

It comes as Twitter began warning users when they attempt to 'like' a disputed tweet as part of its efforts to tackle misinformation around the US election, the result of which was contested by the incumbent president.

The move means that users who try to like disputed messages from Donald Trump about the US election will receive an additional prompt asking them to "help keep Twitter a place for reliable info".

Twitter said it was "vital" the company gives additional context about why labelled tweets were misleading, whether those tweets were about the US election or COVID-19.

It follows a scientific study which found that Mr Trump's prolific tweeting masks a strategic use of Twitter to divert the media from covering topics that are potentially harmful to him.

In the years following the last election in 2016, social media platforms faced a barrage of allegations that their incompetence or apathy contributed to undermining the integrity of the electoral process by allowing disinformation to reach millions of voters.

Similar questions have been raised about whether Twitter and other social platforms are doing enough to tackle conspiracies relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week TikTok scrambled to delete a video featuring anti-vaccination disinformation during a parliamentary hearing, when an MP cited it as evidence the platform was not doing enough to tackle such claims.