President Donald Trump returned from his golf course on Saturday to a scene of people celebrating outside the White House. But just in case there was any doubt, the commander in chief made it clear he was not ready to concede the race and tweeted out his feelings in a stream-of-consciousness epic all-caps meltdown that was hard to follow and full of falsehoods including the claim that “I WON THE ELECTION.” In his first tweet since the race was called, Trump questioned the validity of the vote saying observers “WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS” and assured that “BAD THINGS HAPPENED,” and he ended by saying that millions of ballots “WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!”
Once again, Trump didn’t present a single bit of evidence to support his allegations, and Twitter quickly slapped a label on the tweet that noted the allegation of fraud “is disputed.” But unlike the false tweets the president had sent earlier in the day, Twitter chose not to place a gray box over the message. It also didn’t limit users from directly retweeting the message or tagging it as a favorite, all actions it has taken in the past to limit the dissemination of tweets that espoused disinformation. But now it has changed the policy because the election has already been called. “With the election now called by multiple sources per our public guidelines, we will no longer apply warnings on tweets commenting on the election outcome,” Brandon Borrman, a spokesman at Twitter, said in a statement. “We will continue to apply labels to provide additional context on Tweets regarding the integrity of the process and next steps where necessary.”
Trump’s all-caps Twitter meltdown led to lots of mockery online. “Honestly it’s sad,” wrote CNN’s Jake Tapper, who called on people who love Trump to “step in and stop this.”
Now that Trump’s days in public office are coming to an end, it’s only a matter of time before he loses the protections he enjoys as a world leader on his favorite social network. Starting on Jan. 20, 2021, Twitter will apply the same rules to Trump’s account as to any other user. “Twitter’s approach to world leaders, candidates, and public officials is based on the principle that people should be able to choose to see what their leaders are saying with clear context. This means that we may apply warnings and labels, and limit engagement to certain tweets. This policy framework applies to current world leaders and candidates for office, and not private citizens when they no longer hold these positions,” a Twitter spokesperson told the Verge.