Twitter, Facebook label Trump posts on Pennsylvania mail-in ballots

Twitter and Facebook placed warning labels on President Trump’s election eve social media posts late Monday, the latest effort by the president to sow doubt on mail-in ballots while in this case criticizing a Supreme Court ruling on a challenge to Pennsylvania’s vote-counting rules. 

Twitter limited the view of the tweet, issuing a warning that “some or all of the content” in the message “is disputed and might be misleading.” The outlet allowed users to view the message only after clicking on the warning. 

Facebook issued a similar warning on Trump’s post on its platform, with a link to get information about Election Day. 

A Twitter spokesperson said the company decided to place the warning for “making a potentially misleading claim about an election,” in line with the company’s vivid integrity policy. 

“We will significantly restrict engagements on this Tweet,” the spokesperson added. 

Facebook declined to comment in response to the decision to label the president’s post. The label is in line with the type of label the company pledged in September to put on any post that “seeks to delegitimize the outcome of the election or discuss the legitimacy of voting methods,” including by “claiming that lawful methods of voting will lead to fraud.” 

It is not the first time the platforms have labeled posts from the president over spreading misinformation about mail-in ballots.

Ahead of Election Day, tech giants announced updated policies to limit the spread of misinformation online, including adding labels to posts from candidates who prematurely declare victory in the election. 

Trump for months has spread claims that mail-in voting leads to voter fraud, casting doubt on the voting method amid record early turnout by mail and in person as the election coincided with the coronavirus pandemic. There is no evidence that mail-in balloting leads to increased fraud, and public health experts have argued in favor of such voting given the coronavirus health pandemic. Coronavirus cases are now spiking across the country. 

The justices last week denied a Republican request to fast-track consideration of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that upheld the state’s mail ballot due date extension.

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