Twitter restricts Trump’s tweet claiming enemies would ‘steal’ election – TechCrunch
With key wins recorded in a few states, Trump hasn’t quite declared victory prematurely on social media as platforms had feared – but he raised the specter of electoral fraud without merit.
“We’re BIG, but they’re trying to STEAL the election,” Trump tweeted. “We will never let them. Votes cannot be cast after polls close! “
Twitter quickly took action against the tweet, putting it behind a warning and adding a disinformation tag. The company explained its actions in a tweet, saying the president’s message contained a “potentially misleading election claim.” At midnight Pacific Time, the outcome of the presidential election was far from clear, with both candidates occupying potential avenues to the presidency.
While Trump’s wording is left a bit ambiguous, the president’s tweet again appears to attack the integrity of the mail ballots. Since mail-in ballots are expected to arrive slowly in some states, late votes can play an important role in election results. This scenario was expected and does not raise any concerns about the integrity of the vote count.
Due to a huge spike in postal voting linked to the pandemic, results were expected to be more ambiguous on election night in 2020 than in previous years, and so far that has been proven to be true. Social media companies began crafting new policies for the unusual circumstances of the 2020 election and its ominous disinformation ecosystem in the months leading up to November.
Twitter also said in a September policy announcement that he would delete or tag any tweet inciting illegal activity and threatening a “peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession”. Although tweets restricted by Twitter remain live, they are placed behind a warning message that users must first click to view their content. Restricted tweets also have their retweets, likes, and comments disabled, reducing their reach.
On Facebook, where much of Trump’s Twitter content is reposted, his post got a tag reminding users that election night results and final results may differ, but the post was not otherwise restricted. In an email, Facebook spokesperson Tom Reynolds said Facebook tagged the post shortly after it was posted “in accordance with policies we shared prior to election day.”
The company attached a tag similar to another late-night Trump post stating “I will make a statement tonight.” A big victory! ”Facebook previously said it plans to tag all posts claiming premature victory with an informational message telling users the official election results.
Update – 12:10 am PT:
Following oral remarks in which Trump falsely claimed he won the election, Facebook said they would begin running messages to Facebook and Instagram users, noting that “the votes are still counted and no winner is expected.”