President Trump briefs reporters in the Rose Garden on May 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter fact-checked two of President Trump's unsubstantiated tweets that mail-in ballots in the 2020 election would be fraudulent for the first time on Tuesday, directing users to "get the facts" through news stories that cover the topic.

Why it matters: Twitter and other social media platforms have faced criticism for not doing enough to combat misinformation, especially when its propagated by the president.

  • Twitter's new approach of labeling misleading tweets was detailed in a blog post about misinformation and the coronavirus earlier this month.
  • Twitter spokesperson Lindsay McCallum said Trump's tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.”

The big picture: Twitter said on Tuesday it would not remove Trump's tweets that baselessly accused MSNBC host Joe Scarborough of murdering a congressional staffer in 2001.

  • Twitter issued a statement saying it was "deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family."
"The Scarborough Tweets are not violative of our policies and we've drawn lines for certain issue areas, including civic integrity and voting. However, as we said on the Scarborough Tweets, we've been working to expand existing product features and policies so we can more effectively address things like this going forward, and we hope to have those changes in place shortly."
— Twitter spokesperson

Driving the news: Trump has accused Democrats of trying to rig the 2020 presidential election by expanding mail-in voting access to Americans — a measure intended to enforce social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Last week, Trump briefly threatened to withhold unspecified funding to Nevada and Michigan after both states announced plans to expand voting-by-mail options.

What they're saying: "We always knew that Silicon Valley would pull out all the stops to obstruct and interfere with President Trump getting his message through to voters," Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale wrote in a statement on Tuesday.

  • "Partnering with the biased fake news media 'fact checkers' is only a smoke screen Twitter is using to try to lend their obvious political tactics some false credibility.
  • "There are many reasons the Trump campaign pulled all our advertising from Twitter months ago, and their clear political bias is one of them."

Go deeper: FEC commissioner recommends voting by mail to safeguard against coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated Sep 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump suggests people in N.C. vote twice to test mail-in system

President Trump makes a speech at the U.S.S. Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington, N.C. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Trump suggested during a visit to North Carolina that people should vote once by mail and again in person during the election.

What he's saying: "Let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system's as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote," he said. "If it isn't tabulated, they'll be able to vote. And that’s what they should do."

Chaos scenarios drive gatekeepers' election prep

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Big Tech is holding dry runs to game out Election Day chaos scenarios, key participants tell Axios.

Axios has learned that Facebook, Google, Twitter and Reddit are holding regular meetings with one another, with federal law enforcement — and with intelligence agencies — to discuss potential threats to election integrity.

USPS watchdog flags possible problems with timely process, delivery of election mail

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

The U.S. Postal Services' Office of the Inspector General found some unresolved issues within the agency that could impact its ability to efficiently process and deliver election mail with the general election just around the corner, according to an agency audit.

The big picture: More Americans than ever are expected to mail in their ballots in November's election as the coronavirus pandemic persists and voters aim to avoid possible exposure. The audit also comes as Democratic lawmakers worry that recent operational changes made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy threaten the USPS' ability to handle the anticipated surge in mail-in ballots.

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