US President Donald Trump has vented his anger over Twitter’s decision to add a warning label to tweets from his account that it deems inaccurate.
On Tuesday evening (local time), Mr Trump took to the social media platform to complain that Twitter is “stifling free speech”, while warning he would “not allow it to happen!”
….Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020
Earlier in the day, Mr Trump wrote in a two-part Twitter post, “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.”
Mr Trump also wrote, “The Governor of California is sending ballots to millions of people, anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!”
Later in the day, Twitter added a blue exclamation warning label to the tweets, saying “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.” The warning links to a page where Twitter explains why Trump’s comments are wrong.
“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 Twitter page says.
Twitter confirmed this was the first time it had applied a fact-checking label to a tweet by the President, in an extension of its new “misleading information” policy introduced to combat misinformation about the coronavirus.
Twitter’s page also says, “Trump falsely claimed that California will send mail-in ballots to ‘anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.’ In fact, only registered voters will receive ballots.” In addition, according to Twitter’s fact-check, “Though Trump targeted California, mail-in ballots are already used in some states, including Oregon, Utah and Nebraska.”
Twitter’s fact-checking notification on Wednesday came hours after the social network declined to take action on tweets Mr Trump sent about the 2001 death of a former congressional staff member, after her widower asked the company to remove them for furthering false claims.