US President Donald Trump has accused Twitter of “interfering” with the 2020 presidential election, after the social media giant for the first time slapped fact-checking links on his tweets that claim mail-in voting leads to a “rigged election”.
Trump tweeted: “@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. Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”
It comes after Twitter inserted “get the facts about mail-in ballots” links below a series of tweets that were made by Trump.
Trump claimed that “mail-in ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.”
He also accused the Governor of California of “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”.
Twitter’s “get the facts” links direct users to news articles that analyse Trump’s unsubstantiated claims, outlining how fact-checkers have found no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud or that only registered voters receive voting ballots.
In February, Twitter released a set of guidelines to tackle the use of deepfakes to deceive people.
At the time, Twitter said it would remove manipulated media, including deepfakes, but only if the content was likely to cause harm, such as threats to the physical safety of a group or person, or if the tweet creates a risk of mass violence or widespread civil unrest.
The harm threshold also applies to stalking, content that aims to silence someone, voter suppression, and intimidation.
More recently, the company banded together with other social media giants to issue a joint statement promising to curb fraud and misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak.
“We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world,” the companies said.
Not long after, Twitter said while it attempts to curb any misinformation about COVID-19, it is unable to take “enforcement action on every tweet”.