Twitter to remove or label tweets about election rigging or premature results to combat misinformation

  • Twitter announced it will remove or label misleading tweets starting next week
  • The firm will sniff out those with false information regarding the election
  • This includes election rigging, premature results, and votes tallying 

Twitter is set to remove or label unverified postings claiming electoral victory as part of a stepped-up effort to protect democracy, less than two months ahead of the US presidential vote.

The social media firm is launching the new policy next week to combat ‘false or misleading information intended to undermine public confidence in an election or other civic process.’ 

Tweets with ‘false or misleading information’ about election rigging, ballot tampering, vote tallying or premature election results fall under the new rule.

The move comes amid rising concerns about when results will be verified for the November 3 presidential election, in view of an expected large volume of mail-in ballots and criticism of that process by President Donald Trump.

Some analysts have suggested that Trump, who has a large social media following, may reject the results of the election or refuse to leave office if he loses.

Both Twitter and Facebook have placed labels on Trump comments about mail-in voting.

The Twitter Safety team said it expects to take a strict approach to the updated policies.

‘We will not permit our service to be abused around civic processes, most importantly elections,’ the company said.

‘Any attempt to do so — both foreign and domestic — will be met with strict enforcement of our rules, which are applied equally and judiciously for everyone.’

The new policy also bans ‘misleading claims about the results’ or interference with the electoral process such as ‘claiming victory before election results have been certified, inciting unlawful conduct to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession.’ 

In August, Twitter, along with Facebook and Google, launched new efforts to combat misleading information about the US presidential election. 

Twitter vowed to expand its rules to ward keep misleading content about main-in votes and early voting from running rampant on that platform.

 Facebook launched a hub for voting resources that claims to provide users with access to credible and authoritative information.

And Google separately announced new features for its search engine to provide detailed information about how to register and vote, directing users to local election administrators.

The trio met with government officials ahead of their August announcement to discuss how they plan to monitor their platforms, as Republicans and Democrats prepare for upcoming conventions.

The efforts aim at tackling foreign meddling and misinformation, as all three of the online services came under fire for being unprepared in the 2016 election.

Twitter’s move involves coming up with new policies ‘that emphasize accurate information about all available options to vote, including by mail and early voting.’

Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, Twitter’s vice president for public policy in the Americas, told Reuters in an email: ‘We’re focused on empowering every eligible person to register and vote through partnerships, tools, and new policies.

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