Billionaires Back Biden, Trump Tangles with Twitter

  • Biden's strategy during this time should be to overwhelm the Trump branding machine.
  • Statements made by friends, relatives and associates are more effective in influencing opinion.
  • President Trump attacked Twitter after he claimed it censored his tweets.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is about to get some serious backing from some of Silicon Valley’s top tech billionaires. The list includes Steve Jobs’ widower Laurene Powell Jobs, LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

The 2020 United States presidential election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Voters will select presidential electors who in turn will vote on December 14, 2020, to either re-elect the Republican incumbents, Donald Trump and Mike Pence, or presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his Vice Presidential running mate.

Biden’s campaign already seems to be gathering steam. Polls show him tying with US President in key states, such as Florida, and surpassing him in others. His strategy during this time, according to Dmitri Mehlhorn, Hoffman’s top political advisor, should be to overwhelm the Trump branding machine. This is according to a communique he distributed to associates that was obtained by Recode last month.

He states that voters are unlikely to be swayed using traditional modes of communication. According to the exec, statements made by friends, relatives and associates are more effective in influencing opinion, hence social media reach will be crucial in the November elections.

The distributed document says that putting up credible news networks with a journalistic slant that are partially favorable to the Democratic agenda also helps. “When truth is tribal, traditional media and advertising can’t reach voters. But people still listen to their friends and members of their communities,” he said in the memo.

Hoffman is backing a startup called Alloy in his endeavor to support the Democrats. The firm specializes in storing user data that is instrumental in advertising. This will provide targeting capabilities necessary in reaching the right audience during the elections.

According to Alloy spokesperson, Luis Miranda, “we’re already putting data into the hands of Democrats and progressives on the front lines of this critical election cycle. We’re proud of our work, and we’re just getting started.”

Twitter is a microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets.” Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, this limit was doubled to 280 for all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.

Trump Attacks Social Media Networks

President Trump has, in the past few days, attacked social media networks after one of his tweets about mail-In ballots got hit with a fact-check tag. His post discredited the mode of voting, underscoring that it would be a fraudulent election because mailboxes will be robbed.

“There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone…..,” he tweeted.

Clicking on the tag revealed a note suggesting that the president’s claim was unsubstantiated. It outrightly dismissed the president’s claims as false.

The fact-check tag was removed soon after the president threatened to pass a law allowing the government to look into the misconduct of social media companies. According to the president, Twitter was trying to censor his views, and this was a potential attack on democracy.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this week that the move by Twitter was wrong. According to the tech billionaire, the platform was trying to be the judge and jury by being an “arbiter of truth.” He said that Facebook would never do such a thing.

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Samuel Gush

Samuel Gush is a Technology, Entertainment, and Political News writer at Communal News.

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