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Twitter Says Trump’s “Misleading” Tweet About Mail Drop Boxes Could Potentially Dissuade People From Voting

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Twitter said they made the call based on the president "making misleading health claims that could potentially dissuade people from participation in voting." Posted on August 23, 2020, at 2:50 p.m. ET Nicholas Kamm / Getty Images President Trump Twitter placed a "public interest notice" on one of President Trump's tweets on Sunday that claimed…
Twitter Says Trump’s “Misleading” Tweet About Mail Drop Boxes Could Potentially Dissuade People From Voting

Twitter said they made the call based on the president “making misleading health claims that could potentially dissuade people from participation in voting.”

Posted on August 23, 2020, at 2:50 p.m. ET


Nicholas Kamm / Getty Images

President Trump

Twitter placed a “public interest notice” on one of President Trump’s tweets on Sunday that claimed — without evidence — that mail drop boxes “make it possible for a person to vote multiple times,” and that the mailboxes were not properly sanitized amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our Civic Integrity Policy for making misleading health claims that could potentially dissuade people from participation in voting,” Twitter said in the notice.

The company put the notice on Trump’s erroneous tweet five hours after he tweeted it and it had already received thousands of likes and retweets.

Twitter said they are keeping the president’s tweet up but that people will no longer be able to like, reply, or retweet it. Only retweets with comments would be permitted.

We placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our Civic Integrity Policy for making misleading health claims that could potentially dissuade people from participation in voting. https://t.co/MA6E7mBpkm

“We’ve taken action given the Tweet violates our Rules, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

When asked about the other baseless assertions made by the president in the tweet, the spokesperson said they have “don’t have any further comment.”

The president’s claims in the tweet are untrue and unfounded: Both registered Republicans and Democrats use mail-in voting; those votes are verified and counted by a bipartisan team. The USPS says on its website that the agency follows “guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for cleaning, which includes using disinfecting detergents, spray cleaners, and sanitizers for surfaces exposed to COVID-19.”

BuzzFeed News has reached out to the USPS about their specific sanitation procedures of physical mail boxes.

This is not the first, or second, time that Twitter has taken action in response to Trump’s tweets.

We added a label to two @realDonaldTrump Tweets about California’s vote-by-mail plans as part of our efforts to enforce our civic integrity policy. We believe those Tweets could confuse voters about what they need to do to receive a ballot and participate in the election process.

In May, the platform put warnings in front of two of his tweets about California’s mail-in voting process. “We believe those Tweets could confuse voters about what they need to do to receive a ballot a ballot and participate in the election process,” Twitter said. .

The company issued another warning for Trump tweeting “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in response to nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

Twitter said that tweet violated the company’s rules about “glorifying violence.”

Trump’s rhetoric about the USPS and mail-in ballots has become a dizzying national crisis. Over the past few weeks, the president has made and then rescinded remarks about defunding the federal agency based on false claims that they lead to rampant voter fraud.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to the White House for comment.

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