Twitter has flagged tweets from US president Donald Trump with a fact-check warning.
The social media site added a warning phrase to two of Trump’s tweets in which he called postal voting “fraudulent” and predicted that “mail boxes will be robbed”.
Under the tweets, there is now a link reading “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” that guides users to a Twitter Moments page with fact checks and news stories about Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.
Until now, the US president has overcome Twitter’s half-hearted attempts to enforce rules intended to promote civility and “healthy” conversation on its most prominent user.
Trump frequently amplifies misinformation, spreads abuse and uses his feed to personally attack private citizens and public figures alike – all forbidden under Twitter’s official rules.
In a statement, Twitter said Trump’s vote-by-mail tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labelled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots”.
Meanwhile, the husband of a woman who died in Joe Scarborough’s office two decades ago has demanded Twitter remove Trump’s tweets suggesting the former Republican congressman murdered her.
Twitter issued a statement expressing its regret to the husband but so far has taken no action on those tweets.
Trump’s Scarborough tweets offer another example of the president using Twitter to spread misinformation – in this case, about an accidental death that Trump persists in linking to the co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe show.
“My request is simple: Please delete these tweets,” Timothy J. Klausutis wrote to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last week.
The body of Lori Kaye Klausutis, 28, was found in Scarborough’s Fort Walton Beach, Florida, congressional office on 20 July, 2001.
Trump has repeatedly tried to implicate Scarborough in the death even though Scarborough was in Washington, not Florida, at the time.
At Tuesday’s White House briefing, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany repeatedly refused to say why Trump was pressing the unfounded allegations or whether he would stop tweeting about them.
Instead, she focused on remarks that Scarborough made about the case that she said were inappropriate and flippant.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?