Twitter Has Flagged at Least Eight Trump Tweets for Misinformation and Other Violations Since May

Twitter flagged at least eight of President Donald Trump's tweets over the past three and a half months, alerting the social media platform's users to misleading or manipulated information as well as messages that violate civic integrity and abuse policies. Additionally tweets were removed for copyright violations and misleading claims about COVID-19 treatments.

"This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about civic election and integrity. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the pubic's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible," reads a message attached to several recent posts shared by the president, each related to mail-in ballots and the upcoming general election.

The latest string of tweets to warrant alert messages from the social platform came early last week. Trump, who vehemently opposes polices that allow voters to receive ballots by mail without submitting an absentee application, posted a string of messages on September 3 instructing people to visit their local polling places after casting ballots through the post. If election officials do not confirm the mail-in votes were already counted, the president suggested voting again. If they were counted, "you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly," he wrote.

Twitter flagged two of the thread's three messages for civic integrity violations. The platform's civic integrity policy prohibits users from sharing tweets that manipulate or interfere with civic processes, including elections.

"This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress participation or mislead people about when, where or how to participate in a civic process," the policy states.

Twitter attached the same alert notice to an August 23 tweet by Trump that claimed mail collection boxes "make it possible for a person to vote multiple times." The tweet also suggested collection boxes are not "COVID sanitized." Twitter explained its decision to flag that tweet in a message shared the same day. It called Trump's health claims "misleading" and noted their potential to "dissuade people from participation in voting."

Twitter began labeling Trump's tweets in the spring, as concerns about in-person voting during the pandemic prompted state leaders to expand access to mail-in ballots with Election Day in mind. California Governor Gavin Newsom initially announced his state's plans to do so in May, quickly inciting a series of unsubstantiated claims—shared on Twitter by Trump—about how broadening vote-by-mail procedures would lead to fraudulent election results.

Two of those tweets received a different alert stamp from the social media platform, which urged users to "get the facts about mail-in voting." Trump went on to accuse Twitter of interfering in the upcoming presidential election, and signed an executive order calling for increased federal regulation over the social media platform and others, like Facebook. His criticism claimed the companies suppress conservative views.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at a White House news briefing in Washington, D.C., on March 18. Twitter flagged at least eight of Trump's tweets for sharing misleading information or otherwise violating its rules since May. Alex Wong/Getty

Twitter flagged an additional tweet shared by Trump during the final days of May, and another several weeks later, for glorifying violence and violating its rules against abusive behavior. The tweets threatened "serious force" and increased military presence in response to demonstrations protesting racism and police violence that erupted across the country after George Floyd's death in custody. Around the same time, Twitter removed a doctored video Trump tweeted and flagged it as "manipulated media."

At the end of July, Twitter removed a handful of tweets that Trump reposted that said the drug hydroxychloroquine could be used as a COVID-19 treatment method despite research saying it is ineffective and possibly harmful.

When Newsweek inquired on Tuesday, Twitter said that for privacy reasons it could not confirm how many of Trump's tweets it flagged for rule violations or stamped with fact checking notices.