After hitting President Trump with a fact-check for the first time, Twitter has now also applied one of its new labels to China.
Two March tweets from China Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian, which baselessly claim the United States army may have brought the coronavirus to Wuhan, now feature a fact-check label, Bloomberg reports. Twitter urges users to "get the facts about COVID-19" and links to information from the World Health Organization saying that "all available evidence suggests that the virus has a natural animal origin" and originated in China. The New York Post had previously questioned Twitter about why the tweets had not been fact-checked.
Twitter first added a fact-check label to Trump's tweets baselessly calling mail-in ballots "fraudulent," and the company says it did so because "we believe those Tweets could confuse voters about what they need to do to receive a ballot and participate in the election process." This set Trump off — he claimed the company is "interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election," and is planning to unveil an executive order pertaining to social media.
But Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a thread on Wednesday said "we'll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally." Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had told Fox News on Wednesday that "we have a different policy" on fact-checking, as he believes his platform "shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online." Dorsey, however, said Twitter's fact checks don't "make us an 'arbiter of truth.'" Rather, he said, "our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves."