Facebook and TikTok have blocked tags that have been used to spread mishealth and conspiracy theories about the presidential election,media The Verge reported. These labels generally revolve around baseless claims that Democrats are trying to rig elections to defeat U.S. President Donald Trump, among others.
On Facebook, the blocked hashtags included the hashtag “stopthesteal,” which was widely used to baseless claims of election fraud against Democrats, and the hashtag , “Sharpiegate,” which incorrectly alleged that the use of the Sharpie marker led to Trump’s vote not being counted in Arizona. TikTok blocked the hashtags “sharpiegate#stopthesteal, and, more generally, the term “riggedelection.” Both sets of blocked tags were discovered by TechCrunch.
While Twitter doesn’t appear to have blocked any election conspiracy theories, the company has been adding warning tags to some tweets that it says may contain inaccurate information. Other tweets were posted encouraging readers to learn more about election security.
Regulating these conspiracy theories-focused labels is part of a broader effort this week by social platforms to quickly stamp out misconceptions surrounding the election. Twitter has actively tagged Trump’s tweets, which falsely claim fraud or misrepresent how votes are counted.
Facebook added a similar hashtag and shut down a group of 300,000 people called Stop Stealing early Thursday, including claims of fraud without any supporting evidence. Facebook also said it had “seen worrying calls for violence from members of the group.”
TikTok said blocking the labels is “part of its “normal regulation and approach to mis-information, hate speech and other content that violates our guidelines.” The two tags were removed because “content with these tags often violates our misleading information policy,” a spokesman told The Verge.
Twitter has been “actively monitoring the hashtags and related tweets since Tuesday morning, and continues to monitor them,” a spokesman told The Verge. Twitter doesn’t usually block tags, but it can prevent tags that violate the company’s content policy from becoming a hot topic. The spokesman said the label also contained “a lot of counter-talk across the country.”
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.