Twitter Begins To “Fact-Check” Tweets Posted By President Donald Trump, Leading To Information From CNN and The Washington Post
We’ve released an update to this story.
On Tuesday morning, President Trump expressed his distaste for the proposal of an expansion of the mail-in ballot program. “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent,” he tweeted.
“Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is 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. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!”
Not long after his tweet was posted, however, Twitter added a large blue flag to his tweets that prompted users to get the “facts” about mail-in ballots. The link led to a Twitter news briefing that compiled a list of sources they curated as authoritative including evidently partisan outlets such as The Washington Post and CNN. Twitter made the decision to publish this intrusive and manipulative fact-checking editorial on the same day that a story was released in West Virginia citing election fraud being carried out by an employee of the US Postal Service.
Twitter is the primary source of communication between the president and the American people. He is perhaps the first politician to ever fully utilize social media to the fullest extent possible and it seems that the tech oligarchs in Silicon Valley are doing whatever they can to prevent his success in the 2020 election.
A sampling of Twitter’s fact-checking editorial can be read below:
On Tuesday, President Trump made a series of claims about potential voter fraud after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an effort to expand mail-in voting in California during the COVID-19 pandemic. These claims are unsubstantiated, according to CNN, Washington Post and others. Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud.
– 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.
– Trump falsely claimed that California will send mail-in ballots to “anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.” In fact, only registered voters will receive ballots.
– Though Trump targeted California, mail-in ballots are already used in some states, including Oregon, Utah and Nebraska.
Trump’s Tweets “are a refrain we’ve heard over and over from Trump over the past four years — a refrain that literally has never been substantiated.” — Washington Post
“[T]he sort of widespread election fraud that Trump is talking about is incredibly rare. In fact, there’s just no significant evidence of intentional voter fraud on anything near the scale Trump and his allies allege.” — CNN
….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. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020
The massively popular social media network enjoys Sec. 230 protections from the Federal government—but does their intervention in the president’s tweets justify that continuing?
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is ostensibly meant to protect internet intermediaries—service providers who do not act as editorializing publishers—immunity from the liability of the content users independently share on their website. The theory is, that these service providers are not themselves engaging in content creation or curation. With Twitter interceding to inject the president’s tweets with disclaimers, there’s an argument to be made for throwing their immunity out the window. They already abuse this immunity by selectively purging conservative voices from the internet.