As the presidential counting session drew to a close, Twitter and Facebook were busy restricting and labeling U.S. President Donald Trump’s posts, this time in response to unfounded claims that Trump was manipulating votes against officials in key Democratic states. Twitter flagged the tweet and limited its reach, calling it “controversial and potentially misleading.” Facebook added a general warning that “the end result may be different from the initial vote.”
Mr. Trump sparked a social media crackdown in the early hours of this morning when he accused Democrats of trying to steal the election, but neither platform actually deleted his claim that social media policies were made before the election. “We warned of this tweet because it made potentially misleading claims about the election,” Twitter said in a statement.
“Last night, I had a strong lead in almost all key states, with almost all Democrats running and controlling,” Trump tweeted. Then, one by one, as the unexpected ballots were counted, they began to magically disappear. It’s weird, and those ‘pollsters’ are completely wrong, historic mistakes! “He was clearly referring to the normal process of counting absentee ballots.
Trump isn’t the only user to have his post tagged. Ben Wikler, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, was flagged for tweeting that “Joe Biden just won Wisconsin” because the votes are still being counted. (The latest news is that Wisconsin Election Commission officials say that all the votes in the state have in fact been counted so far, with Biden winning by 20,697 votes.) )
Twitter also restricted a misleading video posted by members of the Trump campaign.
Social networks are in a delicate position to fact-check what is said on traditional television networks. Mr. Trump declared victory prematurely in front of a live television audience last night and called for “all voting to stop.” Twitter declined to label the video, saying that “the recording or clip of the press conference does not in itself violate our policy.”