US Elections: FB, Twitter to Label Posts Claiming Early Victory

Twitter and Facebook will label posts from candidates and campaigns that claim victory before official results.

2 min read

On the eve of the United States Presidential Elections, Twitter and Facebook outlined plans for placing warning labels on posts from US election candidates and campaigns that claim victory in advance of official results.

The moves, announced on 2 November, come as social network platforms brace for what has been an unusual election cycle due to a high number of mail-in ballots that may cause a delay in final results, Reuters reported.

According to the report, Twitter said it would place warning labels such as “official sources called this election differently”, or “official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted”.

Facebook has announced it will add specific information in news feed notifications in its apps and in the labels on posts if a candidate or a party declares premature victory, and will continue to show latest results in its Voting Information Center, it said in a separate statement.

Facebook said it will also monitor a range of issues in real time on Election Day, including reports of voter suppression content, and will remove any attempts to suppress participation or intimidate voters.

US-based accounts with over 100,000 followers and a significant engagement will also be considered for labelling, Twitter said.

Social media companies are under pressure to combat election-related misinformation and prepare for the possibility of violence or poll place intimidation around the November vote.

Six days before the elections, on Wednesday, 28 October, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey testified before the US Senate Commerce Committee on a range of “bad behaviour” issues related to moderation of content on social media platforms.

The bitterness, however, of a visibly acrimonious election campaign between US President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden loomed large over the hearing and was evident in the tone and exchanges among the Senators.

In an updated blog, Twitter said it would consider state election officials and national news outlets such as ABC News, Associated Press, CNN and Fox News that have independent election decision desks as official sources for results.

Their official Twitter accounts will be exempted from labelling, the company said.

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