Twitter is tightening its guidelines towards voting misinformation

A roll of stickers that read “I voted by mail.” Twitter is increasing its insurance policies towards voter misinformation forward of the election. | Logan Cyrus/AFP by way of Getty Photos

The brand new guidelines would flag Trump’s tweets if he claims an early victory.

Twitter is increasing its insurance policies towards voter suppression forward of the 2020 election, saying it can take down or label extra sorts of deceptive election claims, corresponding to falsely claiming a untimely victory whereas outcomes are nonetheless being tallied.

Whereas social media firms make adjustments to their misinformation insurance policies on a regular basis, it’s notable that Twitter is making this alteration forward of what might be a contested election, with a file variety of individuals voting by mail as a result of pandemic, and with President Trump primarily disputing the election’s outcomes earlier than individuals have even began voting.

Up to now few months, Trump has repeatedly tweeted false claims about voting, together with the unsubstantiated assertion that mail-in ballots will result in widespread voter fraud. He has additionally inspired individuals to vote twice (which is unlawful). Whereas Twitter has labeled a few of his posts as deceptive previously, it has executed so sparingly — and in conditions when Trump has made very particular incorrect claims, just like the false allegation that everybody who lives in California will mechanically obtain a mail-in poll (California plans to ship mail-in ballots solely to registered voters).

Beneath Twitter’s new insurance policies, the corporate might take down or label much more of Trump’s extra common claims casting doubt on the voting course of. Twitter received’t apply the principles retroactively, and it’ll begin implementing the insurance policies on September 17.

“We won’t allow our service to be abused round civic processes, most significantly elections,” Twitter wrote in an organization weblog submit on Wednesday. “Any try to take action — each international and home — can be met with strict enforcement of our guidelines, that are utilized equally and judiciously for everybody.”

The brand new guidelines strengthen a few factors in Twitter’s present guidelines towards spreading false details about elections.

The foundations now prohibit:

  • Spreading false details about the legal guidelines, officers, or establishments that perform voting
  • Disputed claims that might “undermine religion within the voting course of itself,” corresponding to “unverified details about election rigging, poll tampering, vote tallying, or certification of election outcomes”
  • Deceptive claims concerning the outcomes of the election, together with “claiming victory earlier than election outcomes have been licensed, inciting illegal conduct to forestall a peaceable switch of energy or orderly succession”

These guidelines make it extra clear what Twitter considers acceptable discourse on its platform. However as all the time, what issues is how Twitter truly enforces them.

One massive factor that’s unclear is when Twitter will truly take away a tweet for violating these guidelines, or when it can take a lesser motion by simply labeling the tweet as deceptive.

Fb equally strengthened its guidelines towards election misinformation final week, however many criticized the corporate for largely abstaining from fact-checking politicians like Trump. Twitter has been seen as extra keen than Fb to average Trump, significantly after it corrected the file on a number of of Trump’s false tweets, which Fb selected to go away unchecked.


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