Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Friday, claiming that Twitter’s fact-check of President Donald Trump’s tweets about mail-in voting amounted to an impermissible “in-kind contribution” to the president’s political opponents.
Gaetz claimed that Twitter, by taking it upon itself to flag Trump tweets that contained false or misleading claims about mail-in ballots, engaged in prohibited election interference—ignoring its true status as a “mere ‘interactive computer service” and anointing itself as a “shadow contributor” to the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
“By opining on the content of the President’s tweets, Twitter is injecting its own editorial opinions in an attempt to lower the credibility to the President,” the complaint said. Gaetz alleged that the purpose of the fact-check was “influencing the 2020 presidential elections by making an in-kind contribution to President Trump’s political opponents.”
Gaetz is asking the FEC to conduct an investigation and punish Twitter if warranted.
“Further, the Commission should determine and impose appropriate sanctions for any and all violations, should enjoin respondent(s) from any and all violations in the future, and should impose such additional remedies as are necessary and appropriate to ensure compliance with the FECA,” the complaint concluded.
“If someone is going to assert that they are a nonbiased neutral platform, we should not just take that as an article of faith. The Federal Election Commission needs to get off their duff. Twitter is interfering with an election. If we just wait around, big tech will steal this election from Donald Trump and the American people,” Gaetz said in a statement on Friday, also posting a link to a video of an appearance on Fox News.
You can read the complaint below:
[Image via NICHOLAS KAMM_AFP_Getty Images]
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