Twitter has for the first time called out a tweet sent by US President Donald Trump, warning followers his claims about mail-in ballots are false and have been debunked by fact checkers.
In a tweet responding to the company's move, Trump accused the company of interfering in the 2020 presidential election.
"Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!" he said.
.@Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election. They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020
The blue exclamation mark notification put on the president's tweet prompted readers to "get the facts about mail-in ballots" and directed them to a page with news articles and information about the claims aggregated by Twitter staffers.
Trump, who has more than 80 million followers on Twitter, had claimed in tweets earlier in the day that mail-in ballots would be "substantially fraudulent" and result in a "rigged election."
He also singled out the governor of California over the issue, although the state is not the only one to use mail-in ballots.
"Trump makes unsubstantiated claim that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud," said a headline at the top of the page, followed by a "what you need to know" section correcting three false or misleading claims made in the tweets.
Twitter’s ‘misleading information’ policy
Twitter confirmed this was the first time it had applied a fact-checking label to a tweet by the president, in an extension of its new "misleading information" policy introduced to combat misinformation about the coronavirus.
"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," said Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.
Twitter's fact-checking notification came hours after the social network declined to take action on tweets Trump sent about the 2001 death of a former congressional staff member, after her widower asked the company to remove them for furthering false claims.
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