Much has been said about “battleground states,” or areas that could swing either way and decide the fate of the US presidential elections. One other battleground area, however, that is also highly contested in our hyperdigital era is the arena of social media.
Now that misinformation is rampant across the Internet, how are Facebook, Twitter, and Google handling information circulating within their platforms?
Facebook has announced in a statement that they are taking steps “to prevent voter suppression, interference, and other abuse.”
“If a presidential candidate or party declares premature victory, we will add more specific information in the labels on candidate posts, add more specific information in the top-of-feed notifications and continue showing the latest results in our Voting Information Center,” Facebook said in a statement.
“Our Election Operations Center will continue monitoring a range of issues in real time — including reports of voter suppression content. If we see attempts to suppress participation, intimidate voters, or organize to do so, the content will be removed,” Facebook added.
Facebook said they are also tracking issues such as the swarming of Biden campaign buses by Trump supporters.
“We are monitoring closely and will remove content calling for coordinated harm or interference with anyone’s ability to vote,” Facebook said.
Facebook said they are also tracking other issues, such as the swarming of Biden campaign buses this weekend.
As we head into Election Day in the US tomorrow, we wanted to share an update on how we’ll be helping people find information about voting or returning their mail ballots, and the steps we’re continuing to take to prevent voter suppression, interference and other abuse.— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) November 3, 2020
Our Election Operations Center will continue monitoring a range of issues in real time — including reports of voter suppression content. If we see attempts to suppress participation, intimidate voters, or organize to do so, the content will be removed.— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) November 3, 2020
Twitter, which is incumbent President Donald Trump’s soapbox of choice, has also announced policies to combat disinformation.
Twitter announced that it will flag Tweets “that make claims about election results before they’re officially called.” The labels will be prioritized for “the presidential election and other highly contested races where there may be significant issues with misleading information.”
“If we see content inciting interference with the election, encouraging violent action or other physical harms, we may take additional measures such as adding a warning or requiring the removal of Tweets,” Twitter said.
A few weeks ago, we announced how we will handle Tweets about US election results.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 2, 2020
We want to remind you what to expect and share a preview of the labels we may apply. ?https://t.co/Fuawn83HrM
Twitter's election policy in turn led to Trump’s most recent tweet prematurely claiming he is “up BIG” being pinned with a warning label.
“Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process,” read the warning.
Google, meanwhile, said that it will block election ads across its platforms related to the US elections after polls close. Google said that the policy is meant to minimize confusion surrounding controversial events.