By Ben Werschkul
It’s another chapter in President Trump’s love-hate relationship with Twitter. In the wake of the social media company’s decision to fact-check his tweets for the first time, Trump responded with a series of threats and jibes against the company.
Trump claims Twitter – arguably his preferred platform for communication – is stifling free speech after it prompted readers of two of his tweets to check facts on his claims. The president promised “Big action” against the company.
The initial tweets said that mail-in ballots are “substantially fraudulent,” a claim that has been repeatedly debunked.
It’s far from the first time the president has mentioned Twitter (TWTR) and also not the first time he has threatened it.
In fact, according to trumptwitterarchive.com, the president has directly mentioned the company almost 200 times on the platform itself since he began his account in 2009.
As they say, there’s always a tweet. Here’s some notable mentions of the company over the years.
Accusations that the ‘Radical Left is in total command & control’
In recent years, Trump has most often brought up the company to complain about what he sees as conservative bias. In 2019, he held a “social media summit” to talk about bias.
Earlier this month, in a typical tweet, he said that he wants to “remedy this illegal situation.”
Trump has threatened legal action against the company multiple times in spite of little evidence of any sort of systemic bias. He often mentions the forces he sees allied against him, like so-called “shadow banning” of his political allies.
He also tweeted in support of a range of right-wing figures who had their accounts frozen from an illegal immigration activist to the actor James Woods. Woods was banned after tweeting a hoax meme that encouraged men not to vote.
Even while decrying when his allies have their accounts frozen, he’s pushed for the banning of his perceived opponents.
Trump’s tone has veered in a positive direction in response to personal outreach from the company. In 2019 Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey traveled to Washington to discuss the issue of supposed anti-conservative bias. The trip earned a friendly tweet in response.
It was a similar pattern during the 2016 campaign. Then-candidate Trump was invited to participate in a video Q&A at Twitter’s New York headquarters. He discussed topics from Israel to Tony Romo and apparently enjoyed the appearance enough to tweet positive mentions.
‘Everybody’s talking about my doing twitter’
Trump’s use of the platform has been well documented as a key ingredient – perhaps the key ingredient – in his political rise. One analyst famously even said in 2017 that the account was worth $2 billion to Twitter’s valuation.