The White House deleted a tweet Wednesday after Twitter added a “context” note to its claim about a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.
The social media giant is undergoing changes after being acquired by billionaire Elon Musk on Oct. 27, and it appears one of them might be a more politically balanced approach to labels on tweets.
On Tuesday, the White House account claimed credit for President Joe Biden when it tweeted, “Seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership.”
It wasn’t long, however, before Twitter added a note to the post that said, “Readers added context they thought people might want to know.”
As the context message explained, the reason for the big increase in Social Security checks is that it is tied to inflation — as established under a 1972 law — and historic inflation has been one of the hallmarks of the Biden presidency.
“Seniors will receive a large Social Security benefit 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 Consumer Price Index,” the note said.
Twitter slaps a “context” note on the White House’s tweet giving Biden credit for a Social Security boost. (It’s an automatic cost-of-living adjustment pegged to inflation.) pic.twitter.com/NSsdHFusw4
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) November 2, 2022
On Wednesday, the original tweet was deleted, Fox News reported.
Many tweeted in response to the White House’s claim that it was Biden’s leadership that led to bigger Social Security payments.
“The White House just deleted its tweet congratulating ‘President Biden’s leadership’ which resulted in the largest increase in Social Security payments seen in 10 years – a claim that drew a flag on Twitter because the increase was actually caused by a 40-year high in inflation,” Todd Wieler, a Republican in the Utah state Senate, tweeted.
The White House just deleted its tweet congratulating “President Biden’s leadership” which resulted in the largest increase in Social Security payments seen in 10 years – a claim that drew a flag on Twitter because the increase was actually caused by a 40-year high in inflation. pic.twitter.com/abSgq4B0SV
— Todd Weiler (@gopTODD) November 2, 2022
Some ridiculed the White House for trying to put a positive spin on benefit increases resulting from its failures to control inflation.
“Since the @WhiteHouse deleted their false tweet about Social Security, here’s an alternative: American families are seeing the biggest increase in their monthly household budgets through President Biden’s failed leadership,” Stephen Perkins from the American Conservative Coalition tweeted.
Since the @WhiteHouse deleted their false tweet about Social Security, here’s an alternative:
American families are seeing the biggest increase in their monthly household budgets through President Biden’s failed leadership.
— Stephen Perkins (@Stephen_Perkins) November 2, 2022
But aside from the mocking of the White House, the “context” flag on the tweet drew attention to the rapidly changing face of the social media platform now that it is owned by Musk.
When a post gathers enough attention and response from other Twitter users who believe it is misleading, a context note is added.
“By empowering people to do this together, they can add helpful and informative context for people from different points of view,” Twitter explained when the program was launched in March.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) March 3, 2022
As Musk also noted on Wednesday, this feature is meant to ensure the platform has accurate information.
“The community notes feature is awesome. Our goal is to make Twitter the most accurate source of information on Earth, without regard to political affiliation,” he said.
The community notes feature is awesome.
Our goal is to make Twitter the most accurate source of information on Earth, without regard to political affiliation.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, asked during a news conference Wednesday why the tweet was deleted, said it was “incomplete.”
“Look, the tweet was not complete. Usually, when we put out a tweet, we post it with context, and it did not have that context,” Jean-Pierre said.
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