U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about negotiations with pharmaceutical companies over the cost of insulin for U.S. seniors on Medicare at an event in the Rose Garden at the White House during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Washington, U.S. May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

On Tuesday, Twitter added a fact-check label to two of President Donald Trump’s tweets that “falsely claimed that mail-in ballots are fraudulent.” Calls for Twitter to “intervene” on President Trump’s account grew following “baseless suggestions” that MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough might have been involved in the 2001 death of a former intern.

Each tweet now includes a link giving users the option to “get the facts about mail-in ballots,” which then opens a page titled, “Trump makes unsubstantiated claim that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud.” News outlets such as CNN and The Washington Post are cited on the fact-checking page.

The move followed a May announcement from Twitter that it had “broadened” its policy guidance to address 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.” Twitter’s label also comes amid accusations by President Trump and conservatives that the platform is allegedly anti-conservative.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Twitter puts warning label on a Trump tweet for first time over mail-in ballots, but admits no rules broken – Fox News – 5/26/2020
Twitter’s new warning label was issued even though a Twitter spokesperson acknowledged to Fox News that Trump’s tweet had not broken any of the platform’s rules. The label prompted conservatives to again condemn Twitter for what they have called its apparent left-wing bias: Just two months ago, Twitter flagged a video uploaded by the Trump campaign as “deceptive,” only to rebuff the campaign’s efforts to have the platform flag a similar video uploaded by the Biden team.

Twitter adds warning label to Trump’s tweet for promoting misinformation — the first time they’ve done so – Raw Story – 5/26/2020
The pair of tweets in question claimed, with no factual basis, that absentee ballots will be “substantially fraudulent” and that people will “rob” mail boxes and “forge” or “illegally print out” ballots — something that there are already robust safeguards against in state election systems.

Twitter labels Trump tweets as “potentially misleading” for the first time – The Verge – 5/26/2020
According to a Twitter spokesperson, the tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.” When a user sees the tweets from Trump, a link from Twitter is attached to them that says “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.” The link leads to a collection of tweets and news articles debunking the president’s statements.

Twitter labeled Trump tweets with a fact check for the first time – CNN Business – 5/26/2020
Twitter said the move was aimed at providing “context” around Trump’s remarks. But Twitter’s unprecedented move is likely to raise further questions about its willingness to consistently apply the label to other Trump tweets that have been deemed misleading by third parties, particularly as the president has lobbed baseless allegations against former Rep. Joe Scarborough regarding the death of a congressional staffer years ago.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Yamiche Alcindor on Twitter, 5/26/2020: HUGE. Twitter on Tuesday slapped a fact-check label on President Trump’s tweets for the first time, a response to long-standing criticism that the company is too hands-off when it comes to policing misinformation and falsehoods from world leaders. https://t.co/gpvmzlWQli 

Erroll Webber For Congress (CA-37) on Twitter, 5/26/2020: The liberals have realized that the only hope they have at winning in 2020 is either to #TakeTrumpOffTwitter or commit massive voter fraud. When Trump can get his unfiltered message out to the masses, they know the masses will respond with support. That’s why the fear him!

TheBlaze on Twitter, 5/26/2020: Twitter now includes a “fact check” for @realDonaldTrump’s tweets courtesy of, you guessed it, CNN.… 

Suzanne Nossel on Twitter, 5/26/2020: Hallelujah. Finally @Twitter labels a Trump tweet misleading. In his own mind he may be above the law and the divine arbiter of truth. But the rest of us need to do our part to hold him accountable. This is one small step.

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