Sorry we missed this earlier in the week, but as you know, on Tuesday Twitter decided to add a link reading “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” to two of President Trump’s tweets in which he argued that mail-in ballots are ripe for fraud. The Wall Street Journal, however, did a fact-check of Twitter’s fact-check and found it contained some misinformation of its own.

At issue, and the distinction is important, is that some states mail everyone an application to vote by mail, while other states send everyone a ballot itself. Twitter seems to have conflated the two.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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.”

We’d already had questions about Twitter’s ability to serve as an independent fact-checker, so this didn’t help.

Good point — that’s how Nathan Phillips of Covington Catholic High School fame instantly became a Vietnam combat veteran in all the headlines — because he’d lied to one small publication that became the source for all the rest of the mainstream reporting. Once the truth came out, it was relegated to conservative sites.

Biases? Do you mean like Twitter’s fact-check guy?


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