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Twitter tags Trump tweet with fact-checking warning - BBC

27.05.2020, 14:51
Photo credit: Glavcom
Photo credit: Glavcom

A post by US President Donald Trump has been given a fact-check label by Twitter for the first time, as BBC reported.

Mr Trump tweeted, without providing evidence: "There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent."

Twitter put a warning label in the post and linked to a page that described the claims as "unsubstantiated".

President Trump responded by tweeting again, saying the social media giant "is completely stifling free speech".

But recent posts in which Mr Trump - who has more than 80 million followers on Twitter - promoted a conspiracy theory about the death of political aide Lori Klausutis, blaming a high-profile critic, have not received the same treatment.

What is Twitter saying about Trump's posts?

The notification on Mr Trump's tweet shows a blue exclamation mark and a link suggesting readers "get the facts about mail-in ballots".

It directs users to a page on which Mr Trump's claims are described as "unsubstantiated", citing reporting by CNN, the Washington Post and others.

The pandemic is putting pressure on US states to expand the use of postal voting because people are worried about becoming infected at polling stations.

In a "what you need to know" section, Twitter writes that Mr Trump "falsely claimed mail-in ballots would lead to 'a Rigged Election'."

"Fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud," it continues.

The company had pledged to increase the use of warning labels about false or misleading information on its site, but has been slow to take steps against the US president.

Mr Trump posted the same claim about mail-in ballots on Facebook, but it is not fact-checked on that platform.

What is President Trump's response?

With more than 52,000 tweets currently to his name, Mr Trump is a prolific tweeter and relies on the platform to disseminate his views to millions of people.

He has used Twitter to launch attacks on opponents, with targets ranging from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to his political rivals in the US.

In 2017 he used anti-Muslim tweets aimed at London Mayor Sadiq Khan to serve a domestic political purpose of warning about immigration, BBC North America reporter Anthony Zurcher reported.

On Tuesday Mr Trump's presidential campaign manager Brad Parscale also criticised Twitter's decision.


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