Twitter warns users of deceptive tweets from the polling places in Philadelphia, giving an early glimpse of how it will treat the rest of the night. A message from, among others, Trump’s director of election day operations, Mike Roman, has already been limited by the site.
“Misinformation being disseminated online has driven more calls to the Election Task Force hotline than real polling site accidents,” New York Times reporter Nick Corasaniti complained to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
Roman posted a video showing a woman apparently returning multiple ballots to a dropbox in Philadelphia and alleged that Democrats were “trying to STEAL THE ELECTION in broad daylight.” But Jane Roh, Philadelphia DAO spokeswoman, noted that on behalf of voters with a disability, you can legally send ballots and also said that “whatever those papers are,” they are twice the size of official mail-in ballots.
This tweet has been flagged by @Twitter bc 1) assisting voters who are infirm or otherwise unable to physically vote is lawful & 2) whatever those papers are, they're like 2x size of official mail-in ballots #ElectionDay pic.twitter.com/Tk9ipGrZL6
— Jane Roh (노진이) (@Jane_Roh) November 3, 2020
A warning label was added by Twitter stating that “any or all of the content shared in this Tweet is contested and may be deceptive about an election or other civic process,” and it limited the ability of people to retweet or respond to the tweet.
The Philadelphia DAO also reported on Twitter that it investigated a separate accusation of wrongdoing from Roman and found that the tweet was “deliberately misleading.” Twitter attached to three other Roman tweets a generic knowledge mark, citing its policy of civic honesty.
On behalf of President Donald Trump, former political strategist Roman helped mobilize a “army” of vote watchers to catch suspected voting fraud, and his restricted tweet was retweeted by Eric Trump and other members of the campaign.
The moderation policy arm of Twitter has been aggressively planning for the presidency, expecting an outpouring of disinformation about high-stakes. The platform extended its disinformation guidelines in September to include premature statements of victory. Twitter also put out an anti-misinformation banner in the week leading up to Election Day, intended to “preemptively fix subjects that are likely to be the target of election misinformation.”