Twitter slapped a fact check label on a pair of ‘misleading’ tweets by President Donald Trump on Tuesday in which he railed against mail-in voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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 living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one,” Trump tweeted.
“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!”
Experts who study the issue have found no evidence that voter fraud is a widespread problem in the United States.
This appears to be the first time that the social media giant has fact-checked Trump or otherwise enforced its terms regarding his tweets. Many of his critics have long called on Twitter to hold the president accountable for violating its terms of service.
The links Twitter added direct users to a Twitter article titled, “Trump makes unsubstantiated claim that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud” along with a “What you need to know” section, as well as aggregated tweets regarding on Trump’s unfounded claims.
A Twitter spokesperson told NBC News on Tuesday that the tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.”
The spokesperson added that the company rolled out a policy earlier this month to combat misinformation on its platform, particularly related to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many states holding primaries have had to consider how to balance elections with public health. It has driven lawmakers, such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who issued an order that requires election officials in each of the state’s 58 counties to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters.
However, this move has prompted legal challenges.
The Republican National Committee and other GOP groups, such as the California Republican Party and the National Republican Congressional Committee, sued Newsom on Sunday. RNC chair Ronna McDaniel called Newsom’s executive order “radical” and a “recipe for disaster that would create more opportunities for fraud.”
A similar challenge also cropped up in Texas, but a federal judge there ruled in favor of the Democratic Party expanding mail-in voting.
That case is being appealed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.