Twitter and Facebook flag Trump’s baseless election claims

By Ellen Daniel

As the results of the 2020 Presidential election continue to come in, Twitter and Facebook have taken action against false claims made by Donald Trump that he has already won.

Due to a high turnout and an unprecedented number of in-mail ballots, several key states are still counting millions of votes, which could continue for several days. However, Donald Trump has prematurely declared victory and made baseless claims about voter fraud.

Appearing in front of the White House, Trump claimed: “We were getting ready to win this election… frankly, we did win this election.”

Earlier today, the president tweeted: “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!”

Twitter added a warning to the tweet, saying that the content was “disputed” and “might be misleading about an election or other civic process”. Users are required to click “view” in order to read the tweet which is otherwise hidden.

Facebook also added a label to Trump’s election post, informing users that votes are still being counted, but did not take steps to slow its spread.

Yesterday, a tweet from President Trump claiming that a Supreme Court decision to allow more time for postal ballots to come in in Pennsylvania would allow “rampant and unchecked cheating” was also flagged as misleading.

Trump Twitter and Facebook claims labelled

Twitter and Facbook have raised their efforts to curb the spread of misinformation relating to the election. Last month, Twitter introducing a civic integrity policy, stating that users “may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes”, with those that violate this risking tweet deletion, profile modification, labelling and permanent suspension.

Twitter has banned all political ads while Facebook has banned ads that declare a premature victory or question the integrity of the electoral process. Facebook has introduced labels for election-related posts with links to information about the election.

As part of Facebook’s efforts to reduce election-related misinformation on its platform, the company stated that it had introduced notifications informing US users that votes were still being counted and a winner had not yet been declared, and that posts from candidates will automatically be labelled with this information. Notifications will also contain links to its election information centre.

Both platforms have also suspended newly created accounts posting misleading information about the election.

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