Facebook has added a note at the top of Facebook and Instagram feeds after a night in which President Donald Trump wrongly declared victory in the presidential election, claiming there was no winner yet.
Both Twitter and Facebook decided to mark a tweet from Trump reading “We are up High, but they are trying to STEAL the Election” earlier in the night, similar on both platforms. We would never let it be achieved by them. After the polls have closed, votes will not be cast! Twitter has also imposed limits on tweet sharing.
For the president, early returns were positive, but a number of key states, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan , and Wisconsin, are still counting votes. This job does not include casting extra votes, but instead deals with the unprecedented influx of officially cast but not yet counted mail-in ballots.
Once President Trump began making premature claims of victory, we started running notifications on Facebook and Instagram that votes are still being counted and a winner is not projected. We're also automatically applying labels to both candidates’ posts with this information. pic.twitter.com/tuGGLJkwcy
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) November 4, 2020
Twitter replied to a tweet from the @safety account of the organization for comment shortly after the restrictions were placed in effect. “The tweet reads,” We put a notice on a Tweet from @realDonaldTrump for making a probably false argument about an election. “Our Public Integrity Policy is in line with this action.”
Users must click through a warning box under Twitter’s restrictions to see the tweet as it appears on feeds and homepages, and can not like or respond to the tweet. Retweets are restricted to the “quote tweet” function, which allows users to share a message only with their own comments.
The same message was posted to Facebook by President Trump, where the site added a mark to the post noting that votes are still being counted and referring people to the election information center on Facebook. No action was taken by Facebook to block the dissemination of the post within its network.
In a separate message on both platforms, Trump seemed to hint at a future announcement without going so far as to prematurely announce victory. “I will be making a statement tonight. A big WIN!” the post reads. Neither network has taken action against this second post.
Both Twitter and Facebook adopted explicit policies against premature victory announcements in September, and the policies seem to have been applied as they were laid out at the time. Since September 17th, Twitter’s misinformation policy has covered premature claims of victory, making them eligible to be removed by moderators. Facebook’s approach is more limited: it said it would label posts involving the election and redirect viewers to authoritative information. Facebook also placed restrictions on paid promotion of election-related posts, ensuring that candidates can’t use the company’s ad network to boost the claims.
Earlier in the day, Twitter had placed similar restrictions on a member of Trump’s campaign staff. Mike Roman, the campaign’s director of election day activities, had posted tweets alleging widespread voter fraud in Philadelphia, together with video that was later labelled as misleading by the city’s district attorney.
“Misinformation being spread online has driven more calls to the Election Task Force hotline than actual incidents at polling sites,” the district attorney’s office told reporters.