In a recent tweet, Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, seemed to suggest that the union never opposed in-person schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Twitter quickly fact-checked Weingarten’s claims and pointed out that the union did, in fact, oppose in-person schooling at various points during the pandemic.
Weingarten’s tweet read, “Let’s be clear: We’ve never been anti-in-person learning. We’ve been anti-unsafe learning conditions.” The tweet came amid ongoing debates about whether schools should continue to offer virtual learning options as the pandemic wanes.
However, Twitter added a label to the tweet that reads, “This claim is disputed,” along with a link to a news article from April 2021 that reports on the AFT’s opposition to in-person schooling at that time. The article quotes Weingarten as saying, “We’re going to try and open up schools, but we’re going to try and open them up safely.”
The fact-checking label was added as part of Twitter’s ongoing efforts to combat misinformation on its platform. In recent years, the company has faced criticism for allowing false and misleading information to spread unchecked, particularly during major news events like the pandemic and the 2020 US presidential election.
While some have criticized Twitter’s fact-checking efforts as biased or heavy-handed, others argue that they are necessary to combat the spread of misinformation and protect the public’s health and safety.
Weingarten has not yet responded to the fact-checking label on her tweet. However, the incident serves as a reminder that even high-profile figures can be subject to fact-checking and that it’s important to fact-check claims before sharing them on social media.