Days after its takeover by Elon Musk, Twitter has humiliated Joe Biden after it “fact checked” a claim from the White House to provide further context – prompting them to delete it entirely. The tweet from Mr Biden’s administration pointed to the largest increase in Social Security checks for the elderly in 10 years, claiming it had been achieved “through President Biden’s leadership”. However, in a feature which adds context to tweets, a note was added to the claim which clarified that Social Security checks have simply risen in line with inflation, as they are required to do by law. Mr Biden’s political opponents were quick to seize on the unfortunate gaffe, and the White House quietly deleted the tweet.
The skyrocketing inflation had hit in June, reaching a peak not seen for 40 years, and prompting the rise in Social Security payments.
According to a description under the annotation: “Context is written by people who use Twitter, and appears when rated helpful by others.”
Remarking on the gaffe, the Twitter account for Reddit’s Wall Street Silver community commented: “Elon’s Twitter fact checked the White House.” It added that the payments increasing in line with inflation was “not something to brag about”.
Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney from New York tore into Mr Biden for the tweet, saying: “Next year’s Social Security increase will be one of the largest in decades because of Biden’s disastrous policies, which have caused prices to rise, fueled record inflation, & cut it into critical retirement savings.”
Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri also turned to Twitter to mock the White House’s posting. She wrote: “Biden’s leadership’ is solely responsible for record inflation, according to the White House.”
A White House official said the tweet was deleted because “the point was incomplete”.
They went on to point to a preview of the rise in payments by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who suggested that it would be around $140 a month (£121) on average.
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The billionaire added that previously banned figures such as Donald Trump would not be allowed back onto the site until a full process had been put in place. Mr Biden is facing an uphill struggle as he prepares for the upcoming midterm elections.
Recent polling does not paint a favourable picture for the incumbent president
Amy Walter, editor-in-chief of the non-partisan Cook Political Report, told reporters last week: “The boost and the burst of momentum over the summer, it sort of peaked, and it hasn’t continued to increase. It’s just sort of plateaued. That leaves Democrats in a pretty vulnerable place going into election day.”