Twitter has now labelled 5 of Trump's tweets as 'disputed' and possibly 'misleading'
- President Trump has had five of his tweets, all posted on Wednesday, flagged as "disputed" and potentially "misleading" by Twitter.
- The tweets generally take aim at the legitimacy of the 2020 election, questioning everything from Michigan's vote count to "ballot dumps."
- Ahead of the 2020 election, Twitter announced that it would be cracking down on election misinformation, and the president's tweets have been no exception.
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Twitter has now labelled five of President Donald Trump's tweets, all posted on Wednesday, as "disputed" and possibly "misleading" amid the platform's effort to prevent election misinformation.
Starting at 12:49 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Trump fired off a series of tweets that disputed Michigan's election results, alleged that people were attempted to steal the election and worked to make Trump's lead in Pennsylvania "disappear," and questioned the legitimacy of "surprise ballot dumps."
In response, Twitter attached labels to the tweets that read: "some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process." The platform also blocked retweeting, instead only allowing users to "quote tweet," which encourages users to add their own commentary before sharing the post with their followers. In addition, the platform blocked the text of the tweets from showing up in the Twitter feed, instead requiring users to click through to view the statement.
Twitter also alerted users to voting information that explained that a winner had not been declared, and that some states will count mail-in ballots that arrive later than election day, given that they are postmarked before election day.
Twitter's actions come as part of a wider effort to prevent election misinformation. In October, Twitter announced that it would be adopting a new "civic integrity policy" amid fears of election interference. Since the announcement, Trump has repeatedly posted tweets taking aim at the legitimacy of the election — and Twitter has taken notice.
In the early hours of the morning on Wednesday, Trump tweeted:
We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020
Twitter flagged the post as "disputed" and possibly "misleading." On Wednesday, Trump said that he wanted all voting to stop, despite the fact that voting has ended, and states are merely tabulating the results, the AP reported. Trump's objection likely refers to states like North Carolina, whose election rules say they can count absentee ballots that arrive after election day, as long as votes are postmarked by November 3. In past elections, it has been standard practice to continue counting votes after election day.
Then, Wednesday morning, he retweeted two posts about Michigan's voting tallies:
Twitter labelled both of these posts as "disputed" and potentially "misleading." The original tweet showing Michigan's vote counts, which has since been deleted, showed that Biden had received more than 128,000 votes, and Trump none, in an update of Michigan voting statistics. Trump subsequently retweeted a post which called the Michigan results "reason enough to go to court," and that, "no honest person can look at this and say it's normal and unconcerning. " Since then, the original tweet has been deleted, and the original tweeter said that the statistics were the result of a typo.
Later that morning, Trump also tweeted:
Twitter labelled this tweet "disputed" and possibly "misleading," too. A candidate's lead can vary widely over the course of election night as different precincts are reported, and this year, an influx of mail-in ballots has also led to delayed results. Mail-in ballots could favor Biden, as Trump has discouraged his supporters from voting by mail. A Pew study found that 51% of Biden supporters had plans to vote by mail, whereas only 25% of Trump voters did.
And then, at around noon on Wednesday, Trump wrote:
Twitter also labelled this tweet as "disputed" and potentially "misleading." In key battleground states like Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, an influx of mail-in ballots have delayed results. In Pennsylvania alone, 1.4 million absentee votes haven't been counted, The New York Times reported.
Trump has repeatedly attempted to question the legitimacy of the 2020 election, and has especially taken aim at mail-in ballots. Trump has called the practice "substantially fraudulent," despite widespread evidence that voter fraud is rare, according to FactCheck.org.
In addition to flagging possibly misleading posts, Twitter announced that it would label tweets that prematurely declared a winner and remove tweets "meant to incite interference with the election process."
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