- Twitter on Sunday placed a “public interest notice” on a tweet President Donald Trump sent earlier in the day in the latest example of the platform fact-checking his tweets.
- Just after 7 a.m. on Saturday, Trump tweeted unsubstantiated claims about ballot drop off boxes, which have been implemented by states to allow residents to drop off mail-in ballots without relying on the postal service.
- “We placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our Civic Integrity Policy for making misleading health claims that could potentially dissuade people from participation in voting,” Twitter said.
- After Twitter began to flag some of Trump’s tweets in May, he joined other conservatives in calling social-media platforms biased against conservatives, and he signed an executive order to regulate Twitter and similar companies.
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Twitter on Sunday placed a “public interest notice” on a tweet sent by President Donald Trump earlier in the day that claimed without evidence that “Mail Drop Boxes” for ballots would lead to voter fraud and carry a risk of coronavirus transmission.
“So now the Democrats are using Mail Drop Boxes, which are a voter security disaster,” President Donald Trump tweeted just after 7 a.m. Sunday. “Among other things, they make it possible for a person to vote multiple times.
“Also, who controls them, are they placed in Republican or Democrat areas?’ he continued. “They are not Covid sanitized. A big fraud!”
The president has been a staunch opponent of state efforts to expand vote-by-mail to encourage voters to cast a ballot without needing to vote in-person due to the coronavirus pandemic. To assuage voters’ concerns about voting by mail amid the ongoing public crisis facing the postal service, states have expanded locations that allow voters to drop off their ballots rather than sending them via USPS.
“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity, the warning that now appears over Trump’s tweet read. “However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
The White House declined to comment on Saturday.
“We placed a public interest interstitial on this Tweet for violating our Civic Integrity Policy, for making misleading health claims that could potentially dissuade people from participation in voting,” a Twitter spokesperson told Business Insider. “We’ve taken action given the Tweet violates our Rules, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance.”
While users will be able to share the tweet by using the “Retweet with Comment” feature, users will no longer be able to retweet, like, or reply to the tweet, which Twitter said was standard for the notice it placed on the president’s tweet.
There is little evidence to suggest that there is a heightened risk of voter fraud relating to mail-in ballots. According to a report from Reuters, one in four voters voted by mail in the 2016 election. Trump and over 20 people in his administration or who are otherwise close to him have voted or tried to vote by mail in recent elections, Business Insider previously reported.
In June, Trump’s campaign for reelection filed a lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania to stop it from implementing drop-off locations, arguing state officials had “sacrificed the sanctity of in-person voting at the altar of unmonitored mail-in voting and have exponentially enhanced the threat that fraudulent or otherwise ineligible ballots will be cast and counted in the forthcoming general election,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
In May, Twitter began to place notices over some of Trump’s tweets after years of criticism that the platform did not do enough to combat the president’s misinformation or tweets that otherwise violated Twitter rules. The president and other Republicans have claimed that social media companies, like Twitter, are biased against conservatives.
Days after Twitter began to offer the sporadic fact-checking of his tweets, Trump signed an executive order that empowered federal regulators to amend a statute giving social-media companies, like Twitter and Facebook, the broad authority to moderate speech on their platforms, Business Insider previously reported. First Amendment experts questioned Trump’s authority to regulate or shut down social-media companies that he disagreed with.