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Twitter, Facebook label Trump’s tweets about election results, ballot ‘dumping’

Twitter and Facebook have slapped labels on misleading posts about voting and election results, numerous of them on US President Donald Trump’s posts, on the night of election day and also on November 4. 

As it had warned before election day, Twitter flagged some of Trump’s tweets as misleading and limited their reach, disabling retweets, replies and likes. On tweets where Trump has “claimed” wins in certain swing states where counting was incomplete, Twitter warned that official sources may not have called the race yet. In another tweet where Trump alleged that ballots were secretly dumped, Twitter hid the tweet, labelled it misleading, and truncated engagement. Trump’s claims about attempts to “steal” the election and disappearing ballots were dealt with similarly. Twitter also permanently suspended several accounts claiming to be tied to the Associated Press after they posted unverified US election results, reported Reuters. 

Facebook only labelled some posts with election misinformation, not going so far as to hide or limit reach and engagement. To Trump’s prematurely posts claiming wins in certain states, Facebook added a label saying “Final results may be different from initial vote counts”. A day after the election, Facebook and Instagram did add pop-ups to the top of Feeds stating that votes were still being counted, after Trump prematurely claimed victory and declared that he would approach the Supreme Court. 

Here’s how Twitter and Facebook dealt with the same information from Trump:

 

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On November 2, Twitter had said that it would add labels to misleading tweets from US political figures, including candidates and campaign accounts, and US accounts with over 100,000 followers, or those that “obtain significant engagement”. In recent weeks, Twitter has also begun showing prompts asking people to add their opinion to tweets containing news articles, introducing some friction in retweeting. The company said election calls would be official if they were coming from state election officials and nine news outlets including Fox News and CNN. 

YouTube removed multiple videos that live-streamed fake election results, hours before polls closed. Some of the videos were uploaded by channels dedicated to music. One of them, Wicked Sounds, had nearly 1.5 million subscribers. At least three of the removed videos were monetised. TikTok also removed video spreading misinformation on two Republican-supporting accounts that are popular with younger people and reached over a million followers. 

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