In a series of three tweets, Dorsey explained why Twitter decided to add a “fact-checking” label on the President’s tweet. Trump, who has over 80 million followers on Twitter, had claimed that “mail-in-ballots used during the presidential elections will be “fraudulent”.
Twitter had subsequently applied a “fact-checking” label on this tweet, which read “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” and linked it to a page that described the claims as “unsubstantiated”.
According to the BBC, mail-in ballots are bulletins that are distributed to voters, who then return it by post. The fear of coronavirus has led experts to deliberate whether their use should be expanded to minimise risks of infections.
Trump had then threatened to “close down” the site, alleging that platforms like Twitter “totally silence conservatives” and that he would not allow this to happen. In an earlier tweet, he said that Twitter was “completely stifling free speech”.
Dorsey contested these claims, explaining the reasons behind the label, while tagging the US President in his tweet. “Per our Civic Integrity policy, the tweets yesterday may mislead people into thinking they don’t need to register to get a ballot (only registered voters receive ballots). We’re updating the link on @realDonaldTrump’s tweet to make this more clear,” he wrote.
Twitter’s civic integrity policy deals with any “events or procedures mandated, organized, and conducted by the governing and/or electoral body of a country, state, region, district, or municipality to address a matter of common concern through public participation.”
Dorsey added that the label did not make Twitter an “arbiter of truth”. “Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions,” he wrote.
In his final tweet, he wrote that the company would continue to point out disputed information. “Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me. Please leave our employees out of this. We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make,” he tweeted.