In a first, Twitter flags Trump's tweets as 'potentially misleading'
Twitter has been working aggressively towards flagging and removing misinformation around COVID-19 and the upcoming US Presidential elections. Now, in the wake of these efforts, the microblogging giant has put up a fact-checking warning on two of President Donald Trump's tweets. This is the first time the site has flagged the President's statement as 'potentially misleading'. Here's more about it.
President's false claims about mail-in voting
On Tuesday, Trump made "false claims" pertaining to California's move to expand mail-in voting due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. "There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent," he said, noting that "Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed," resulting in "a rigged election."
Here are the tweets
Soon, Twitter flagged the tweets with a fact-checking warning
After President tweeted, Twitter flagged both the posts with a warning label showing an exclamation mark and asking the viewers to "get the facts about mail-in ballots". It had a link that redirected the readers to a page that described Trump's claims as "unsubstantiated" and detailed all the facts about mail-in voting, sourced from credible fact-checkers and renowned publications.
False claims were also corrected
The fact-checking page also had a section where Twitter debunked the misleading claims from the President. "Trump falsely claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to 'a Rigged Election.' However, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud," the company said. It also noted that "only registered voters will get the ballots" and not what the President said.
Evidently, Trump was not happy
After Twitter's action, Trump targeted the platform, claiming that it is "completely stifling free speech, and I, as president, will not allow it to happen". He accused the social media giant of interfering in the US presidential election and said "they are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots... is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post."
Twitter, meanwhile, is holding its ground
Despite Trump's response, Twitter has held its ground, with a company spokesperson saying that the tweets "contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots." The representative said the action has been taken under a new company policy that aims to prevent "the spread of potentially harmful and misleading content."Share this timeline