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What Twitter has in common with a Dictator-led African country

Mwaramutse, That's 'good morning' in KirundiTwitter did something it has never done in its history to
What Twitter has in common with a Dictator-led African country
By get.Africa Weekly • Issue #21 • View online
That’s ‘good morning’ in Kirundi
Twitter did something it has never done in its history to a man who has done things that America’s presidents have never done in theirs.
It fact-checked Donald Trump’s tweets about election malpractices.
With this, the tech giant has been forced deeper into the murky waters of content policing.
But it’s for a cause?
Across Africa, the fear of internet censorship is highest around election time, the most recent being in Burundi.
One common reason given by governments is to police the flow of false and harmful information at a time when the country is most vulnerable.
Now compare that to the line Jack Dorsey felt that Trump had finally crossed:
‘We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally.’
Unrelated: How a fact-checking process with significant human intervention can scale to, say, the Twitter account of the Burundi president is a topic for another day.
Truth has no agenda… or does it?
Perhaps the real reason why African dictators police the internet around election time is that they are scared of losing.
Dorsey is admittedly ‘left-leaning’, and his political bias has come into sharp focus once again.
With everything that’s at stake at the polls this year, those questions are to be expected.

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