Twitter calls out US President Donald Trump, he responds
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday hit back at Twitter for tagging two of his tweets with a fact-checking warning label. He accused the micro-blogging website of “interfering” in the US election and “completely stifling” free speech.
“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....,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
“Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!” he said in another tweet.
Twitter had on Tuesday for the first time prompted readers to check the facts in tweets sent by Trump, warning that his claims about mail-in ballots were false and had been debunked by fact checkers.
The move marked a dramatic shift for the social network, Trump’s primary tool for getting an unfiltered version of his message out to his political base, after years of permissive policies around content on its platform.
The company has been tightening those policies in recent years amid criticism that its hands-off approach had allowed abuse, fake accounts and misinformation to thrive.
Trump, who has more than 80 million followers on Twitter, claimed in tweets earlier in the day that mail-in ballots would be “substantially fraudulent” and result in a “rigged election.” He also singled out the governor of California over the issue, although the state is not the only one to use mail-in ballots.
Hours later, Twitter posted a blue exclamation mark alert underneath those tweets, prompting readers to “get the facts about mail-in ballots” and directing them to a page with information aggregated by Twitter staffers about the claims.
Twitter said the application of a fact-checking label to the president’s tweets was an extension of its new “misleading information” policy, introduced earlier this month to combat misinformation about the coronavirus.
It said at the time that it would later extend the Covid-19 policy to other types of disputed or misleading information.