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Twitter forced to fact-check Trump — again

Trump tweeted more false claims about the election.

By Emily Singer - October 27, 2020
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Twitter once again was forced to limit access to one of Donald Trump’s tweets for violating the company’s policy on spreading disinformation on the election, after Trump falsely said that whichever candidate leads on election night should be the winner.

“Big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots all over the USA,” Trump tweeted. “Must have final total on November 3rd.”

Twitter added a disclaimer to it that stated, “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about how to participate in an election or another civic process,” and stopped users from being able to like or share the tweet.

The disclaimer links to the company’s policy on “civic integrity,” which says:

You may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes. This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress participation or mislead people about when, where, or how to participate in a civic process. In addition, we may label and reduce the visibility of Tweets containing false or misleading information about civic processes in order to provide additional context.

Unlike what Trump said, election night tallies are never the “final total” of elections.

Even states that do not use robust mail-in voting take days after an election ends to count and certify all of the ballots — including addressing possible recounts in states where the election is close.

In fact, the earliest deadline among the 50 states and the District of Columbia to certify their election results this year is Nov. 5, two days after Election Day, according to Ballotpedia. A number of other states will not certify their final tallies until early December.

It’s why federal law states that the electors in the Electoral College do not meet until 41 days after the election.

“When President Trump says we ‘must have final total’ on November 3, he’s just lying, both as a matter of historical practice and state and federal law,” Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, tweeted.

“Hopefully the results are clear enough by bedtime next Tuesday that the election is called for a particular candidate. But if the media isn’t able to call it Tuesday, that’s not because of some nefarious plot; it’s simply because the results are sufficiently close in the right number of states that it isn’t yet clear who won — and won’t be until those states finish counting all legal ballots,” Vladeck added.

This is not the first time Twitter has had to limit access to Trump’s tweets for spreading blatant misinformation.

Earlier in October, Twitter flagged a tweet in which Trump falsely claimed he was “immune” to the coronavirus after his bout with the virus following a series of superspreader events he held at the White House that violated social distancing guidelines.

In August, Twitter also limited access to a Trump tweet that spread false information about ballot drop boxes.

Publish with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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