For the first time ever, Twitter has tagged tweets by US President Donald Trump with a link to their ‘fact check,’ based on a collection of mainstream media reporting on the subject of mail-in ballots and voter fraud in the US.
Trump had posted two tweets on Tuesday morning claiming that there is “NO WAY (ZERO!)” that mail-in ballots “will be anything less than substantially fraudulent,” denouncing the drive by Democrats to expand voting by mail in November.
Twitter reacted later in the day by tagging both with a “Get the facts about mail-in ballots”link, leading to a collection of mainstream media articles denouncing the president’s claim as false.
“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,” the platform wrote by way of an explanation.
One of the problems with this, however, is that the supposedly false statement is a non-falsifiable opinion, pointed Will Chamberlain, publisher of the conservative magazine Human Events.
Donald Trump Junior reacted to the news by wondering if Twitter will fact-check all the so-called journalists and activists who championed the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy theory for years.
So is @Twitter going to start censoring & fact-checking all the numerous blue check mark “journalists” & leftwing activists who falsely claimed that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government & that @realDonaldTrump is a “puppet” of Putin for the past 4 years? 🤔🧐 https://t.co/HqZ4mAMUvC
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 26, 2020
President Trump has long used Twitter as his social medium of choice, leveraging the platform to directly reach US voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election and bypassing the mainstream media that overwhelmingly supported his opponent. After the election, the media and Democrats put enormous pressure on social platforms to censor, ban, expel and “fact-check” opinions they disagreed with.
The latest round of pressure to censor Trump on the platform came after he tweeted about former friend and now outspoken critic ‘Morning Joe’ Scarborough, insinuating that the 2001 death of his congressional intern may not have been an accident. The media denounced it as a “baseless conspiracy theory” and demanded something be done, culminating with a Tuesday oped by a liberal New York Times columnist declaring that “Twitter must cleanse the Trump stain.”
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