For the first time since being elected, Twitter has fact-checked a claim President Trump made on the social media platform.
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. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020
Twitter released a statement on its decision Tuesday night.
“These Tweets contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots. This decision is in line with the approach we shared earlier this month.”
Republicans were quick to react, calling the decision suppressing freedom of speech. President Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, shared a statement expressing the administration’s frustration.
“We always knew that Silicon Valley would pull out all the stops to obstruct and interfere with President Trump getting his message through to voters. Partnering with the biased fake news media ‘fact checkers’ is only a smoke screen Twitter is using to try to lend their obvious political tactics some false credibility,” Parscale said in a released statement. “There are many reasons the Trump campaign pulled all our advertising from Twitter months ago, and their clear political bias is one of them.”
Trump also responded, accusing the social media platform of “interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election” and stifling free speech by adding the label.”
Although many are proud of the stand Twitter took, many are watching to see if the social media platform will start fact-checking other significant people. Venezuela’s Nicholas Maduro, China’s Xi Jinping, and Iran’s Ruhollah Khamenei have also made misleading statements on Twitter.
Twitter has already said it won’t be able to fact check every tweet by a world leader. However, in the past, it has deleted tweets from Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and Venezuela’s President Maduro in which they endorsed unproven treatments for the coronavirus.
Earlier this month, Twitter suspended the account of Republican pundit Candace Owens after she instructed Michigan residents to defy the governor’s stay-at-home directive to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Twitter also suspended the account of Trump favorites Diamond and Silk after spreading misinformation on the coronavirus outbreak.