Twitter Flags Donald Trump’s Messages With A Fact Check Warning For the First Time

U.S. President Trump speaks to the press after meeting with Republican Senators in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, May 19, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

For the first time, Twitter has labeled President Donald Trump’s posts on the social media platform with a fact check label. Two of his tweets on Tuesday were amended with a link that allows people to go to a page that provides facts about mail-in voting.

Trump shared two tweets on Monday attacking mail-in voting in California. Trump’s claims were called out for containing information that wasn’t factual, as The Washington Post reports.

“There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “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. 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!”

Twitter inserted a blue exclamation point fact-check symbol with a link reading “Get the facts bout mail-in ballots” in each tweet before the date and time and the text of the message.

The link takes users to a page that explains that fact-checkers say there’s no evidence that mail-in voting is linked to higher rates of voter fraud. It also explained that Trump’s claim that anyone who is in California will get a ballot, though the reality is that only registered voters will get a ballot.

Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager responded to the fact-check label saying that the social media giant was trying to obstruct the president’s message and accused the platform of bias.

Twitter has been facing criticism for what people say is a policy of being too hands-off when it comes to checking messages from public figures, politicians, and celebrities. Some argue that messages from influential people can have an outsized ability to spread misinformation. Trump, in particular, has been the focus of complaints, with many critics saying that the president has tweeted numerous factually incorrect messages.

Most recently, the president has pushed a baseless theory that Joe Scarborough might have been involved in the death of a former staffer, resulting in the hashtag “TakeTrumpOffTwitter” trending.

In recent weeks, Twitter has ramped up its efforts to police posts that contradict scientific information related to the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, Twitter removed tweets from Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.