The White House deleted a roundly derided tweet on Wednesday that inaccurately credited a recent increase in Social Security payments to senior Americans to “President Biden’s leadership.”
- The White House has removed a Twitter post crediting Social Security benefits hikes to “President Biden’s leadership”.
- The automatic 8.7 percent cost-of-living increase is a result of four-decade-high inflation, not a policy feat enacted by Mr. Biden.
- A new Twitter feature allows users to fact-check inaccurate assertions.
The automatic cost-of-living uptick that Social Security recipients are receiving is the result of surging inflation, not a policy feat enacted by President Biden.
The tweet, which was sent on Tuesday, was removed without explanation a day later after it was criticized by critics and debunked by a new Twitter feature that enables users to fact-check inaccurate assertions. The automatic 8.7 percent cost-of-living increase that Social Security recipients receive is a result of four-decade-high inflation, not a policy feat enacted by Mr. Biden.
The note was part of Twitter’s Birdwatch initiative, which adds comments to relevant postings if enough users with diverse viewpoints deem them “helpful.”
Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, who took over Twitter last week, lauded the correction, saying the feature that created it was “awesome.”
“Our goal is to make Twitter the greatest reliable source of information on the planet, regardless of political affiliation,” Musk tweeted.
Conservatives in the United States worry about censorship on the major social networks, whereas Musk vehemently advocates looser control of content on Twitter for the cause of free expression.
However, critics and government regulators defend content controls as critical to preventing harassment, hate speech, and misinformation.
…Tweet lacked ‘sufficient context’
The White House press secretary suggested a tweet crediting the recent uptick of Social Security benefits to “President Biden’s leadership” lacked context.
When asked about the tweet’s removal on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed it lacked context.
“Look, the tweet was incomplete,” she pointed out. “Usually, we post tweets with context, and this one did not.”
Ms. Jean-Pierre explained that Medicare rates are falling even as Social Security payouts rise, implying that such information would have completed the original Twitter message.
“That’s a bit of context that wasn’t provided,” she explained. “As a result of the rare mix of enhanced benefits and falling premiums, seniors will have a chance to move ahead of inflation.”
Mr. Biden has repeatedly whacked Republicans in the final days before the midterm elections next week for proposals that could erode social safety net services. He has insisted that he and the Democrats will protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare.
The deleted tweet echoed a remark made by the president earlier this week during a rally in Florida, when he said, “On my watch, seniors are seeing an increase in their Social Security benefits for the first time in ten years.”
When asked about the comparable sentiments, Ms. Jean-Pierre claimed that Mr. Biden was not seeking to take credit for the cost of living increase.
“We believe that we want to lay out our argument completely,” Ms. Jean-Pierre added. “And it was necessary to do as we put out information like that or sent out a tweet.”
“And that was an incomplete tweet,” she added.