Twitter adds fact-check warnings to Trump tweets

A shock new Twitter strategy is threatening to nullify one of Donald Trump’s most potent weapons.

For the first time, Twitter has flagged some of Mr Trump’s tweets with a fact-check warning.

The move by Twitter, Mr Trump’s preferred way to speak with his base, comes just five months out from the US election.

The new warning labels appeared under two of Donald Trump’s tweets today, signalling Twitter will be fact-checking the president’s claims on the social media platform. (Twitter)

Two unusual warnings appeared underneath two of Mr Trump’s tweets today, signalling Twitter’s new tactic.

The two tweets from Mr Trump called mail-in ballots “fraudulent” and predicted that “mail boxes will be robbed”, among other things.

Under the tweets, there is now a link reading “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” that guides users to a Twitter “moments” page with fact checks and news stories about Mr Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.

The move comes after years in which Twitter has declined to apply its community guidelines and other rules of the road to the 45th US president.

It’s too soon to tell whether this action represents a turning point for Twitter in its treatment of Mr Trump.

But the warning labels suggest that the president has finally crossed a line that the company was not willing to move for him.

Earlier today, Mr Trump had drawn intense criticism over a barrage of baseless tweets suggesting that a television host he has feuded with committed murder.

The husband of a woman who died by accident two decades ago in an office of then-GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough is demanding that Twitter remove the president’s tweets suggesting Scarborough, now a fierce Trump critic, killed her.

“My request is simple: Please delete these tweets,” Timothy J. Klausutis wrote to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters in the Rose Garden at the White House.
President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters in the Rose Garden at the White House. (AP / Evan Vucci)

The body of Lori Kaye Klausutis, 28, was found in Scarborough’s Fort Walton Beach, Florida, congressional office on July 20, 2001.

Mr Trump has repeatedly tried to implicate Scarborough, a host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe show, in the death even though Scarborough was in Washington, not Florida, at the time.

Mr Klausutis wrote in his letter that he has struggled to move on with his life due to the ongoing “bile and misinformation” spread about his wife on the platform, most recently by Mr Trump.

His wife continues to be the subject of conspiracy theories 20 years after her death.

Mr Klausutis said in the letter, sent last week, that his wife had an undiagnosed heart condition, fell and hit her head on her desk at work.

He called her death “the single most painful thing that I have ever had to deal with” and said he feels a marital obligation to protect her memory amid “a constant barrage of falsehoods, half-truths, innuendo and conspiracy theories since the day she died.”

Mr Trump’s tweets violate Twitter’s community rules and terms of service, he said.

“An ordinary user like me would be banished,” he wrote.

There is no mystery to the death of Lori Klausutis.

Medical officials ruled that the aide, who had a heart condition and told friends hours earlier that she wasn’t feeling well, had fainted and hit her head. Foul play was not suspected.

Mr Trump, however tweeted this month: “When will they open a Cold Case on the Psycho Joe Scarborough matter in Florida. Did he get away with murder? Some people think so. Why did he leave Congress so quietly and quickly? Isn’t it obvious? What’s happening now? A total nut job!”

He echoed that “cold case” allegation in a new tweet on Tuesday.

Mr Trump also has asked via Twitter if NBC would fire the political talk show host based on the “unsolved mystery” years ago in Florida. “Investigate!” he tweeted in 2017.

Scarborough has urged the president to stop his baseless attacks.

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