Trump says Twitter is "stifling free speech" after it labels his tweets with fact-check warning
The president isn't happyby Rob Thubron
A hot potato: We all know that Donald Trump is a heavy Twitter user, and he’s no stranger to controversial posts, many of which appear to violate the site’s policies, but the company's never taken action against him—until now. After the social media platform flagged his tweets with a fact-check warning, Trump claimed it was “interfering in the 2020 presidential election.”
Yesterday saw Trump tweet that mail-in ballots would be forged, illegally printed, and signed. A follow-up Tweet claimed that anyone living in the state of California would get a ballot, and professionals would tell them how to vote, and for whom.
Around ten hours after the tweets were posted, Twitter added a link that read: “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.” It takes users to a separate page curated by the site that calls Trump’s claims “unsubstantiated” and false. It also contains several tweets from journalists and publications explaining why his allegations are untrue.
The Hill writes that over the last 20 years, there have been just 143 criminal convictions of fraud using mailed ballots, which is the equivalent of one case per state every six or seven years, or about 0.00006 percent of total votes cast.
Twitter added the label to Trump’s tweets as they violated its new “civic integrity policy,” which prevents users from “manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes,” such as posting misleading information that could dissuade people from voting.
Trump hit back at Twitter’s actions a few hours later, accusing it of interfering in the 2020 elections and “stifling free speech,” adding that, as president, he wouldn’t allow to happen.
The incident comes as Trump continues to claim former Republican representative Joe Scarborough killed an aide, Lori Klausutis, in 2001. Police ruled that she died after hitting her head on a desk after passing out due to an undiagnosed heart condition.
Klausutis' husband, Timothy J Klausutis, wrote to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey asking him to delete Trump’s tweets. “The United States has taken something that does not belong to him - the memory of my dead wife - and perverted it for perceived political gain," he wrote.
Twitter has never been eager to interfere with Trump’s tweeting. Back in 2017, it refused to remove his provocative tweets because they were deemed “newsworthy,” despite previously threatening to ban him if he broke the site’s rules. It was also ruled that he couldn’t block people on the platform as it violated their First Amendment rights.