Twitter and Facebook tag false Trump mail voting claim on polling day

By Robert Scammell

Twitter and Facebook have taken steps to suppress a social media post by President Donald Trump that falsely claimed mail voting will “allow rampant and unchecked cheating”.

As US voters head to the polls, Trump claimed that a Supreme Court decision to give more time for postal ballots to arrive in Pennsylvania was “very dangerous”.

On Twitter the mail voting claim is hidden and replaced with a warning label. It states: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”

Twitter users are still able to view the original tweet, but replying, retweeting and liking the post is no longer possible.

Hiding the tweet is part of Twitter’s civic integrity policy, rolled out last month.

trump mail in voting tweetTrump, who has previously voted by mail-in ballot, has repeatedly made baseless claims that postal votes lead to voter fraud.

Facebook did not hide the post but instead attached a fact-checking disclaimer. It read: “Both voting by mail and voting in person have a long history of trustworthiness in the US. Voter fraud is extremely rare across voting methods.”

Both social media companies have ramped up their efforts to protect the integrity of the election after they were widely criticised for allowing disinformation to spread in 2016.

Facebook has suspended political group recommendations and has launched an election operations centre that has 40 teams monitoring for threats.

Facebook-owned Instagram has temporarily removed the “recent” tab to prevent hashtag manipulation.

Twitter has banned political advertising and has stepped up its efforts to hide false political claims.

Both firms have put measures in place to label posts from candidates and campaigns that declare a premature victory, with Twitter going further by including tweets with more than 25,000 engagements from accounts with more than 100,000 followers.

Read more: Trump tweets show systematic campaign ahead of 2016 elections: Study