In a First, Twitter Flags President Trump’s Tweet as Misleading
Twitter finally placed a fact-check label under U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets, after a new policy regarding misinformation was implemented by the social media company. The tweet, linked here, peddled misinformation about the fraudulence of mail-in ballots that will be used in the 2020 U.S. elections.
Twitter’s fact-check link below the tweet says, “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. In fact, only registered voters will receive ballots. Five states already vote entirely by mail and all states offer some form of mail-in absentee voting, according to NBC News.”
In response, President Trump asserted that Twitter was attempting to take away his freedom of speech, in another series of tweets. He called the reputed news sources cited to debunk his facts ‘Fake News,’ and said, “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”
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Trump has previously peddled misinformation about the Covid19 pandemic multiple times, both on Twitter and in press conferences. He was recently under scrutiny for suggesting that injecting disinfectants into an individual’s body would cure Covid19. Twitter, in its new policy, has clarified that world leaders like Trump will also be subject to these new rules. This is a step in the right direction, especially during a pandemic, where world leaders are looked to as a source of information and security.
However, as of now, Twitter has not taken down any of Trump’s posts, citing them as misinformation that must be flagged, according to the new policy. Twitter may only continue to flag posts from world leaders, rather than taking them down, because remarks such as those Trump made are of public interest, according to what a Twitter spokesperson told Politico. One can hope that Twitter will get more aggressive in weeding out crucial misinformation peddled by laymen and world-leaders alike, and that other social media giants will also follow through in the same way.