Last week Twitter did something to one of US President Donald Trump's tweets for the first time, they put a fact check warning on it .

The tweet in question had the president attacking mail-in ballots, with Trump saying there was "NO WAY" people using the post to vote "will be anything less than substantially fraudulent".

He provided no proof for his claims and Twitter added a warning label to the message, warning that the president's claims were "unsubstantiated".

Two days later they hid another of his tweets on the grounds that it broke their rules by glorifying violence , they did the same to a message from the White House's official account which contained the same words as Trump's tweet.

The president responded to his punishment by threatening to regulate or close down the social media site, which he uses frequently and has often been criticised in the past for failing to hold Trump to account over his misleading, inflammatory and outright false claims on the platform.

For Twitter to put warnings on Trump's tweets with unsubstantiated claims and hide the ones where he promotes violence is a new step in the relationship between social media and one of its most infamous users.

Are social media sites taking a step towards accepting more responsibility for the content their platforms host?

The Claim

A social platform with hundreds of millions of users every month needs to have some rules which regulate the behaviours of the people on the site.

Twitter has rules but for a long time Trump has appeared to be exempt from those rules to some extent. He has been able to attack his opponents, berate his rivals and say whatever he wants seemingly without punishment until now.

For the site to flag the president's tweets as potentially misleading is a significant step for Twitter to take and it may set a precedent for a greater responsibility for those in power who use social media to be held to a high standard with their messages.

Social media provides the platform for people all around the world to communicate with each other but the sites which host the communication can't wash their hands of all responsibility when it comes to dangerous content.

When there exists a platform which has given people in power an audience to say whatever they want to millions of people then the providers of that platform should bear some responsibility for what is said on their site.

When content breaks the rules or is deceitful then the rules which are in place should apply to everyone, no matter how powerful. The alternative is letting those with the loudest voices say whatever they want with no correction or context.

The Counter Claim

However, there are concerns with asking social media sites to police the content their users put out.

For social media sites to decide which messages come with warnings they need to work out where the boundaries of truth lie and what constitutes crossing it, essentially making Facebook and Twitter "arbiters of truth" .

That would be putting power over information in the hands of a select few individuals such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who was questioned over allowing the data of millions of people to be used by Cambridge Analytica, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who has allowed his site to host fake news and extreme views for years before finally taking mild action.

With great power comes great responsibility, if we want social media sites to have more responsibility over the messages they host then they will need more power to police what people say.

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That's a dangerous power to dole out to a few individuals who run the platforms , while there exists no "pure of heart arbiter of truth" to regulate content for them.

There's also the problem with applying fact check warnings to certain posts without consistency. It's unrealistic to expect that every incorrect post will be given a warning but if the sites take on the responsibility for highlighting misleading content then every message they don't flag up could be seen as having a seal of approval.

Social media would be a far better place if there was better enforcement of the regulations and companies took more responsibility for the content they provide a platform for, but the power to determine where the lines are drawn should not be handed out so quickly.

The Facts

Donald Trump has been criticised for his social media behaviour for all manner of things, from sharing Britain First’s Islamophobic tweets to promoting a conspiracy theory about the death of a woman in order to attack a news anchor he doesn't like. His behaviour on the site would have been enough to get a regular user suspended or banned many times over.

Twitter came under criticism for the latter incident as the woman's widower asked the site to "do the right thing" and stop Trump from insulting his wife's memory by using her death for his own personal vendettas. They did not take action.

There are many different kinds of people who spread false information online . Sometimes people make jokes which are mistaken for real claims, while politicians regularly send messages which struggle to stand up to fact-checking or are only true from a very certain point of view.