Facebook and Twitter have flagged half of President Donald Trump’s posts since Tuesday for repeatedly and incorrectly declaring victory and expressing doubts about the legal votes counted after election day.
President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House early evening on election night … [+]
Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Of Trump’s 22 posts on Facebook and Twitter, with no retweets or videos, 11 were flagged by the social media giants.
The items flagged contain false claims to victory before the races were officially called and false claims that the election was fraudulent.
Twitter hid posts, warning that “some or all of the content shared in this tweet is controversial and may be misleading about an election or other citizen process,” and limited the ability to like or retweet.
Facebook warned users on Trump posts that “final votes may differ from initial numbers” or that “election officials have strict rules for counting, processing and reporting ballots” – but users can still share and comment on content.
Twitter also labeled tweets from both Trump aides and Democratic Party activists prematurely declaring victory in states before official sources named the race.
Twitter’s label actually hides the tweet from view.
A labeled Trump post from Facebook.
Facebook and Twitter were preparing for a lengthy election, trying to limit the spread of misinformation as they feared a repeat of 2016. In the weeks leading up to the election, Facebook and Twitter specifically issued guidelines for early claims to victory and messaging regarding the number of votes after election day.
But Republicans have condemned their efforts to combat misinformation as censorship against conservatives. Particularly after Twitter’s New York Post fiasco, GOP lawmakers are seeking Section 230, a legal provision that ensures tech companies cannot be held liable for the posts on their platforms. Unsurprisingly, Trump supporters specifically criticized Twitter for “censorship”.
Although Facebook and Twitter labeled Trump’s posts, that didn’t stop the disinformation from other sources. Eric Trump tweeted a misleading video claiming that ballots supporting the president would be burned – but officials say these were sample votes, not official votes. And a post on Twitter went viral falsely claiming that 400,000 ballots in DeKalb County, Georgia, needed to be fixed by voters before they could count.
What to look for
Two Democratic lawmakers, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) even asked Twitter to block Trump’s account.