Twitter Attaches ‘Get The Facts’ Disclaimer To False Trump Tweets About Vote-By-Mail

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 21: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press on the South Lawn of the White House prior to departing on Marine One May 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump is scheduled to visit a F... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 21: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press on the South Lawn of the White House prior to departing on Marine One May 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump is scheduled to visit a Ford manufacturing plant that is currently producing ventilators in Michigan. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 26, 2020 6:04 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s Twitter page on Tuesday included disclaimers from the social media giant alerting readers that Trump wasn’t telling the truth.

Underneath two tweets from Trump asserting that widespread voting by mail would lead to “substantial” fraud, Twitter attached a notice in blue text, next to an exclamation mark: “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.”

The notice linked to a separate page on the site that fact-checked the President, including the headline, “Trump makes unsubstantiated claim that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud.”

A text box on the page offered the kind of fact-check that’s become routine in media outlets, given Trump’s pattern of claiming, incorrectly, that voting by mail invites fraud. Nonetheless, it was an unprecedented step for the tech giant.

It was unclear if the fact check appeared for all users, or appeared on other posts by public figures beyond the two by Trump. The company did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

“Trump falsely claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to ‘a Rigged Election,'” the linked Twitter page read. “However, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud.”

A series of tweets below linked to media coverage of Trump’s tweets.

The Twitter page divided tweets responding to Trump into subheadings, including “Experts point out that mail-in voting is very rarely linked to fraud,” “Others pointed out that mail-in ballots are used in other states,” “Other issues with Trump’s claim” and “Background.”

The New York Times columnist Ben Smith noted that Twitter said earlier this month that it would begin applying “get the facts” labels to tweets “containing potentially harmful, misleading information related to COVID-19.”

It was not immediately clear if Twitter applied the label to Trump’s tweets as part of the same initiative.

Calls on Twitter to delete some of the President’s tweets — or to suspend his account entirely — grew to a fever pitch this weekend after Trump boosted a baseless conspiracy theory about the 2001 death of a congressional staffer.

The staffer, Lori Klausutis, was working in a district office for then-Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-FL) at the time of her passing. Though Klausutis’ death was determined to be the result of head trauma after she suddenly lost consciousness due to a heart condition, Trump insinuated in multiple tweets that Scarborough had murdered Klausutis.

Trump’s tweets about Scarborough remained public and unadorned by any Twitter disclaimers as of Tuesday afternoon.

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