U.S. President Donald Trump has accused Twitter of interfering in the 2020 Presidential election after the social media company placed a fact-check label on his tweet earlier Tuesday.
Trump, who made the accusation over a new round of tweets, said that the company was “completely stifling FREE SPEECH” and that he would not allow it under his presidency.
“@Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election,” wrote Trump.
“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…”
The tweet in question had been labeled as such because it contained “potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots,” a Twitter spokesperson told Global News in a statement.
“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. This will make it easier to find facts and make informed decisions about what people see on Twitter,” said Twitter spokesperson Katie Rosborough.
The move comes after years of accusations levelled at the social networking site alleging it allowed Trump to spread misinformation.
The fact-checking label was placed under one of Trump’s tweets about the upcoming election, which claimed that mail-in ballots were fraudulent.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that Mail-In ballots would trigger a “rigged election.”
On the bottom left-hand corner of the tweet lay a small blue circle with an exclamation point inside it, followed by the words “get the facts about in-mail ballots” that link to articles that call out Trump’s post as an “unsubstantiated claim.”
The page also contains “what you need to know” sections that summarize counterarguments and shows articles about mail-in ballots that have been published by credible news sources.
For example, one of them says: “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 decision is in line with Twitter’s new approach to handling misinformation online, which they announced earlier this month.
On May 11, the company wrote that it would be broadening its policies to label — and in more extreme cases, remove — tweets containing potentially harmful, misleading information related to COVID-19.
“During active conversations about disputed issues, it can be helpful to see additional context from trusted sources,” they said in a release online.
— With files from David Lao