POLITICS
27/05/2020 10:13 AM AEST

Twitter Applies Fact-Check Labels To Trump Tweets For First Time

The president accused the platform of "stifling free speech" after it added a link to reports debunking his tweets about mail-in ballots leading to fraud.

Twitter labeled two of President Donald Trump’s tweets with a fact-check label on Tuesday for the first time, prompting the president to accuse the platform of “stifling free speech.”

The social media platform applied the label on two of Trump’s tweets that made claims, without evidence, that voting with mail-in ballots would be “substantially fraudulent.” The Twitter labels say “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” and direct users to a collection of news reports and articles debunking the tweets.

Near the top of Twitter’s fact-check page, a statement reads: “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 president has ramped up his attacks to discredit the integrity of mail-in voting in recent weeks, despite substantial evidence to the contrary.

Twitter spokesperson Katie Rosborough said the tweets were labeled because they contain “potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.”

Twitter
Twitter applied fact-check labels to two of Trump's tweets about mail-in ballots.

Shortly after the labels were added, Trump tweeted claims that the platform was attempting to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.

The platform had rolled out a new policy earlier this month that it would label misleading information about COVID-19. The company said at the time it would potentially expand this effort to other areas.

“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,” a company post read at the time.

Twitter said this would make it easier for users to “find facts and make informed decisions” about what they see on the platform.

Rosborough said Tuesday’s move was in line with the new policy and confirmed it was the first time one of Trump’s tweets had been labeled.

This article has been updated with Trump’s Twitter response.