Twitter applied a fact-check label to a a pair of tweets by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, the first time the company has done so despite Trump’s history of making questionable and false claims on the social media platform.
The tweet in question involved Trump criticizing the idea of mail-in voting, with the president falsely claiming it would lead to widespread voter fraud. Trump wrote: “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.”
Trump added that “The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone … living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one.”
Twitter tagged the tweets with a link for readers to “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.” The link leads to a note that describes Trump’s claim that vote by mail would drive up voter fraud as “unsubstantiated.”
“On Tuesday, President Trump made a series of claims about potential voter fraud after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an effort to expand mail-in voting in California during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the note says. “These claims are unsubstantiated, according to CNN, Washington Post, and others. Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud.”
Like other social media sites, Twitter has faced years of criticism for its role as a platform for misinformation, and in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the company rolled out labels to highlight misinformation about the virus.
A representative for Twitter told Digital Trends that “the tweets … contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots,” adding that “this decision is in line with the approach we shared earlier this month.”
Trump himself lashed out at Twitter on Tuesday evening, claiming that “Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election.”
….Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020
We’ve reached out to the White House to see how Trump plans to stop the fact-checking of his tweets and will update this story when we hear back.
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