Official misinformation: White House deletes tweet after Twitter added context to it

Twitter users had earlier fact-checked the text and claimed it was actually bragging about sky-high inflation.US President Joe Biden’s administration has quietly deleted from the official White House account a tweet posted on Tuesday that praised a big increase in Social Security payments.

The White House on Wednesday deleted a Twitter message touting a hike in retiree benefits after the social network added a «context» note explaining that the increase was due to inflation.

the point was incomplete.” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded similarly during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, explaining the tweet had been posted “without context” before attempting to add that context.  

The move came after users had appended a fact-check arguing the president was effectively boasting about the high inflation rate. 

«Seniors have gotten the biggest increase in the checks they receive from Social Security in ten years because of the president’s [Joe Biden] leadership,» the message posted Tuesday said.

Twitter later added that the reason for the increase was a 1972 law that states there should be automatic increases in those benefits as the consumer price index varies.

A skeptical user had added a note clarifying that the size of the cost-of-living increase is calculated proportional to inflation, meaning a record increase in one reflects a record increase in the other.  

Twitter adds «context» notes to some messages that receive a lot of visibility on the social network and may lack information to be accurately understood, the company explains on its blog.

Twitter context notes are written by independent contributors to the Birdwatch program, an initiative by the bluebird social network to combat misinformation, and are backed by relevant posts if enough different people find them «useful.»

«The community note system is great,» reacted Elon Musk, the new owner of the social network, on Wednesday in response to a user who shared a screenshot of the deleted tweet along with the context note.

The U.S. Social Security Administration announced in October that the adjustment to cost-of-living benefits will be 8.7% in 2023, the largest increase since 1981.