As trading markets struggled Monday with uncertainty over oil prices and ongoing panic about a coronavirus pandemic, critics of President Donald Trump were busy on Twitter selling fake news.
Trading was temporarily halted at the opening bell when the Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 2,000 points and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped by more than 7 percent, Business Insider reported.
The news was the perfect opportunity for Trump’s most ardent critics to stretch out their fingers and share a little misinformation.
By Monday evening, a screen shot of a Twitter post supposedly from Trump began circulating with just one issue: Trump never sent the tweet.
“If the Dow Joans ever falls more than 1000 ‘points’ in a Single Day the sitting president should be ‘loaded’ into a very big cannon and Shot into the sun at TREMENDOUS SPEED! No excuses!” the fake tweet reads.
The post had a date and time stamp of 12:27 AM on Feb. 25, 2015.
Gullible NeverTrump Republican Rick Wilson, who constantly insults the intelligence of the president and his voters, fell for it.
Wilson, who spends the majority of his days demagoguing against Trump on his Twitter page, shared the fake post.
I agree, Mr. President. pic.twitter.com/OtM9f6K5oz
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 9, 2020
“I agree, Mr. President,” Wilson wrote, appearing to add in a follow-up tweet that he knew the quote was fake.
Others were quick to share the fake news.
Luckily it’s only the Dow JONES and not “Dow Joans” that’s plummeted over 1000 Pts a couple of times on ur watch. https://t.co/FgDcQKBx5I
— Chris Meloni (@Chris_Meloni) March 9, 2020
And what should we do to a President if the “Dow Joans” loses 2,000 points in a day? pic.twitter.com/PujLpNDHre
— John H. Petroff (@johnhpetroff) March 9, 2020
Even MSNBC host and former congressman Joe Scarborough shared the sham post, although he has since deleted it.
Good catch. The Dow Joans was my favorite band out Athens, GA in the early 90s.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 9, 2020
“There is no record of Trump having posted such a tweet,” Snopes concluded.
“Since it’s conceivable that he published it then deleted it, we can’t reach a definitive conclusion as to whether or not it is genuine. However, there are good reasons to doubt its authenticity,” Snopes wrote.
Similarly, fact-checker PolitiFact deemed the post fraudulent.
“We rate this fake tweet Pants on Fire,” the site wrote.
The site also identified the source of the fake tweet as Twitter user Shaun Usher, who lives in Manchester, England.
The rampant spread of the hoax tweet, and the fact that Twitter has not posted a warning that it is misleading, calls into question Twitter’s commitment to stopping fake news from spreading across the platform.
Just days ago, after Trump retweeted a video of former Vice President Joe Biden appearing to endorse him at a rally in Missouri, Twitter posted a warning that Trump’s tweet contained misleading information.
I agree with Joe! https://t.co/h84mD7jVPW
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2020
While Biden’s bumbling on a short version of the video gave the impression he was endorsing his Republican rival, a full clip revealed more context. Still, the video contained words actually spoken by Biden, so Twitter’s “misleading” claim is only half true.
Joe Biden: “We can not get reelect– um we can not win this reelection. Excuse me. We can ONLY reelect Donald Trump.”#DropOutbiden
.@TheMarieFonseca https://t.co/gq8LPy23PS pic.twitter.com/asbTu4zOYr
— Biden’s Hairy Leg 🦵🌹 (@BernieWon2016) March 8, 2020
Where is that same warning from Twitter when critics of the president attempt to weaponize outright fake news against him?
Why aren’t Trump’s critics apologizing for sharing the fraudulent post?
For people who constantly remind us all of the dangers of misinformation on social media, Trump’s critics don’t mind neglecting to vet information and then share it when it benefits their narrative.
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