Fact Check: Facebook Did NOT Remove The Title 'President' From Donald Trump's Personal Page

Fact Check

  • by: Olivera Perkins
Fact Check: Facebook Did NOT Remove The Title 'President' From Donald Trump's Personal Page Never a title

Did Facebook remove the title "President" from the @DonaldTrump Facebook page? No, that's not true: a database of screenshots of the @DonaldTrump Facebook page, going back several months, shows that the page never contained the title "President" in its name. And Facebook confirmed to Lead Stories that it did not remove "President" from Trump's personal Facebook page.

The claim appeared in a tweet (archived here) posted on @DineshDSouza November 13, 2020, titled "This is disturbing," which opened:

"This is disturbing. Facebook removed the title of "President" from Donald Trump and designated him as "Political Candidate." Trump is still president and, no matter what happens, will remain so until Inauguration Day"

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Fri Nov 13 22:44:04 2020 UTC)

The tweet suggests "President" was removed recently, perhaps after Joe Biden's win in Georgia was declared November 13, 2020 or even after news organizations counted up Electoral College votes based on provisional vote counts and unofficially declared him president-elect November 7, 2020.

Lead Stories reviewed the @DonaldTrump Facebook page, looking at several months of pages using Internet Archives' Wayback Machine, which includes a database of screenshots frequently taken of the @DonaldTrump Facebook page. The database shows the title "President" was not included in the @DonaldTrump page's name. This includes immediately before November 7, and as far back as January 1, 2020.

A Facebook spokesman said in a November 13, 2020 phone interview with Lead Stories that the company does not add the category of "political candidate" to pages. He said this is the choice of the entity managing a given page. Trump's name appears with the title "President" on the @POTUS Facebook page, a government official page.

(Editors' Note: Facebook is a client of Lead Stories, which is a third-party fact checker for the social media platform. On our About page, you will find the following information:

Since February 2019 we are actively part of Facebook's partnership with third party fact checkers. Under the terms of this partnership we get access to listings of content that has been flagged as potentially false by Facebook's systems or its users and we can decide independently if we want to fact check it or not. In addition to this we can enter our fact checks into a tool provided by Facebook and Facebook then uses our data to help slow down the spread of false information on its platform. Facebook pays us to perform this service for them but they have no say or influence over what we fact check or what our conclusions are, nor do they want to.)

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This fact check is available at IFCN's 2020 US Elections #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.

  Olivera Perkins

Olivera Perkins is a veteran journalist and fact checker at Lead Stories, who has covered a variety of beats, including labor, employment and workforce issues for several years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Olivera has received state and national awards for her coverage, including those from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW). She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Read more about or contact Olivera Perkins

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