Twitter Corrects Fact Check on Voting After It Gets Fact-checked

Jack Dorsey (Dominique Faget / AFP / Getty)
Dominique Faget / AFP / Getty

Twitter corrected the notice that it appended to tweets by President Donald Trump on Tuesday after the Wall Street Journal pointed out that the fact check, itself, was factually inaccurate.

After Trump tweeted criticism of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to send mail-in ballot applications to every registered voter in the state, Twitter added a “fact check” label that read: “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.”

Twitter’s fact-checking link pointed users to articles by CNN and the Washington Post — two outlets notorious for their opposition to the Trump administration.

However, the Wall Street Journal noted:

Twitter’s fact check of Mr. Trump’s tweet appeared to contain its own misleading statement, however, stating that “mail-in ballots are already used in some states, including Oregon, Utah and Nebraska.” That statement appears to conflate automatic all-mail voting with absentee ballots in regards to at least one state.

While all states allow absentee voting via the mail, only a handful of states including Oregon and Utah automatically send registered voters mail-in ballots. Nebraska, in contrast, recently mailed applications to every voter—in response to the pandemic, and the state didn’t automatically send ballots.

The mistake raised questions about Twitter’s ability to serve as an independent service to fact check statements by Mr. Trump or other political figures on its service. Late Tuesday, Twitter updated its language to remove reference to Nebraska and instead stated that “five states already vote entirely by mail and all states offer some form of mail-in absentee voting.”

The Journal noted in an update: “Late Tuesday Twitter updated its language in a fact-check of President Trump’s tweet.” The Journal‘s Dustin Volz tweeted: “It was corrected after an elections professional notified the company (and me) about the mistake.”

As Breitbart News has reported, California faces at least two lawsuits over mail-in ballots by plaintiffs alleging that Newsom lacks constitutional and legal authority to change the state’s voting system without legislative approval.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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