Technology

Twitter adds fact check to unsubstantiated Trump tweets about mail-in voter fraud

Twitter on Tuesday placed warnings on two posts from President Trump earlier in the day in which he railed against mail-in voting in California, claiming without evidence that the practice is full of fraud.

“These Tweets contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots,” a spokesperson for the social media platform told The Hill, pointing to a recent blog post on misinformation policies.

The president has increasingly leveled unsubstantiated claims about widespread fraud in mail-in voting as states consider it as a way to decrease the risks posed by the coronavirus.

The tweets Tuesday, which came two days after the Republican National Committee sued Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) over his efforts to expand mail-in voting in California, alleged that allowing an expansion would rig the election.

The warning, which prompts users to “get the facts about mail-in ballots,” leads to a page on Twitter featuring an explanation of the factual errors in the tweets as well as links to various outlets covering the tweets.

“Trump falsely claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to ‘a Rigged Election.’ However, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud,” it reads under the heading “What you need to know.”

“Trump falsely claimed that California will send mail-in ballots to ‘anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.’ In fact, only registered voters will receive ballots. Though Trump targeted California, mail-in ballots are already used in some states, including Oregon, Utah and Nebraska,” it adds.

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale accused the company of “clear political bias” in a statement on the warnings. 

“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.

The fact check comes as Twitter and social media more broadly continue to struggle with how to handle false or misleading statements from Trump.

The company came under fire earlier in the day for not taking down Trump tweets promoting a conspiracy theory surrounding a woman who died while working at MSNBC host Joe Scarborough’s former congressional office in Florida. 

The woman’s widower has pleaded for the posts’ removal, a request Twitter officially refused on Tuesday.

“We are deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill in a statement.

Updated at 6:52 p.m.

Tags Brad Parscale Donald Trump fact checking Gavin Newsom Joe Scarborough mail-in ballots mail-in voting MSNBC Trump tweets Twitter

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