He tweeted, .”@Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election. They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post. Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”
The First Amendment prohibits the government from passing laws that limit freedom of speech. Private platforms like Twitter are free to set their own terms of service. Trump has long accused Twitter and other Silicon Valley platforms of bias.
PREVIOUSLY, 3:15 PM PT: President Donald Trump’s claims that mail-in voting will be “substantially fraudulent” earned a fact check link from Twitter for the first time.
The platform placed the link below a series of tweets that criticized the state of California for moving to mail-in voting. He has targeted other states as well.
His tweets now include a a message to “get the facts about mail-in ballots.” It then directs users to news articles analyzing Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about widespread voter fraud.
A Twitter spokesperson said: “These Tweets contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots. This decision is in line with the approach we shared earlier this month.”
Twitter recently outlined a series of steps it has taken to flag misinformation about the coronavirus, including issuing labels for tweets that contain misinformation or disputed claims.
“Moving forward, we may use these labels and warning messages to provide additional explanations or clarifications in situations where the risks of harm associated with a Tweet are less severe but where people may still be confused or misled by the content,” wrote Twitter’s Yoel Roth and Nick Pickles. “This will make it easier to find facts and make informed decisions about what people see on Twitter.”
The platform’s action came on the same day that the widower of Lori Klausutis, a former aide to Joe Scarborough who died in 2001, called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to remove Trump’s tweets claiming that there is a mystery surrounding her death.
When Trump began attacked mail-in voting last month, even though it has long been supported by Democrats and Republicans, Factcheck.org looked at his claims and concluded that “while the instances of voter fraud via mail-in or absentee ballots are more common than in-person voting fraud, the number of known cases is relatively rare.”
Twitter’s decision to label the tweets drew immediate criticism from Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., who wrote, “So is @Twitter going to start censoring & fact-checking all the numerous blue check mark ‘journalists’ & leftwing activists who falsely claimed that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government & that @realDonaldTrump is a ‘puppet’ of Putin for the past 4 years?”
Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said in a statement, “We always knew that Silicon Valley would pull out all the stops to obstruct and interfere with President Trump getting his message through to voters. Partnering with the biased fake news media ‘fact checkers’ is only a smoke screen Twitter is using to try to lend their obvious political tactics some false credibility. There are many reasons the Trump campaign pulled all our advertising from Twitter months ago, and their clear political bias is one of them.“
Twitter, however, announced last year that it would stop accepting political ads.
A screen shot of the fact-check label is below: