Twitter Labels President Trump’s “Potentially Misleading” Tweets

Image sourced from Al Jazeera

Twitter said Tuesday that it added a label to the United States (US) President Donald Trump’s tweets for containing “potentially misleading information about voting processes,” a rare move that shows the social media company is taking a tougher stance against misinformation. Twitter reserves these labels for tweets that contain information flagged by the website as false.

It’s the first time that Twitter has displayed such a label on one of Trump’s tweets. That same Tuesday, Trump tweeted “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-in-Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent,” a claim that has been debunked by fact-checkers and news organizations. He continues his remarks in another tweet, stating that it will be a “rigged election.”

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Mail-in-Ballots will be used in upcoming November elections in California in the US to increase social distancing efforts during the global coronavirus pandemic. The US is the second-most affected country in the world with this many cases.

A label which appears under both tweets states “Get the facts about mail-in ballots”. Clicking on the warning notice directs users to a page which shows fact-checkers saying there isn’t any evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud.

According to CNET, a Twitter spokeswoman says in a statement that the decision is in line with how the company approaches misinformation on its site, which includes adding warning notices and labels depending on the likelihood and severity of harm a tweet could cause.

Twitter’s actions against Trump’s tweets will also likely increase tensions between the company and conservative users, who allege that the social network suppresses their speech. Twitter has repeatedly denied those allegations. Earlier this month, Trump tweeted that the “Radical Left” is in control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google and said his administration is working on a solution.

Twitter’s move contrasts with how Facebook is handling political speech. Facebook doesn’t send posts and ads from politicians to its third-party fact-checkers. Trump posted the same remarks about mail-in ballots on Facebook in a post that got 169,000 reactions and was shared more than 17,000 times.

“We believe that people should be able to have a robust debate about the electoral process, which is why we have crafted our policies to focus on misrepresentations that would interfere with the vote,” a Facebook spokesman says in a statement.

Edited by Luis Monzon

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