Trump’s ‘election fraud’ tweets prompt fresh warnings from Twitter

Donald Trump incurred further warnings from Twitter after a series of angry tweets alleging, without evidence, that the US presidential election was being stolen away from him by opponents.

The social network had already hidden and flagged as “misleading” a tweet by Mr Trump during Tuesday’s too-close-to-call election counting, in which the president had claimed: “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election.”

The following morning, as mail-in votes counted in a number of key states appeared to point in opponent Joe Biden’s favour, Mr Trump received the same censure for a post claiming: “Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled.

“Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the “pollsters” got it completely & historically wrong!”

Shortly after, Twitter again applied a tag to the tweet warning: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”

The same message was later added to a third tweet by the president questioning why high numbers of the postal ballots were going to Mr Biden.

Election 2020 Pennsylvania Vote Counting
Election 2020 Pennsylvania Vote Counting

Pundits had predicted that Mr Biden would fare better among postal voters, with Democrats historically more likely to vote by mail while Republicans tend to perform better on polling day.

However, in a remarkable White House statement on the night of the vote, the president repeated previous unfounded claims that mail-in ballots should not be relied upon, and alleged a “naked attempt to take away the democratic rights of American citizens”.

Twitter, the president’s favoured platform for sharing his unfiltered views, announced in September that it would begin to label or remove misleading claims that could undermine public confidence in elections.

Facebook announced similar measures to combat misinformation around the poll after receiving heavy criticism for its role in the 2016 election, and also added fact-checking notes to a number of Mr Trump’s posts on Tuesday and Wednesday.

After the president again questioned the mail-in results, the platform added a message reading: “As expected, election results will take longer this year. Millions of people across the US voted by mail, and mail ballots take longer to count.”