At least five of President Donald Trump’s tweets about election results – on Wednesday morning alone – were marked by Twitter as false or misleading.
In the course of only 12 hours between midnight on election night and the morning of November 4, Twitter marked several of the President’s tweets as false or misleading. Nearly all tweets marked by the social media company’s moderators contained unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud and postal votes. A trump tweet marked as false or misleading by Twitter accuses Democratic Party officials of taking away the president’s leadership in the states by making ballots “magically disappear”.
This one and four others are still accessible with one click, but users first see the same message from Twitter moderators: “Some or all of the content shared in this tweet is controversial and could be misleading about an election or other civic process.
Theyâ€?re working hard to make the 500,000 vote lead in Pennsylvania disappear ? IMMEDIATELY. The same goes for Michigan and others!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020
The latest Trump tweet, which was flagged for containing false or misleading information, claims that Democrats are “working hard to make 500,000 Pennsylvania voting advantages disappear – as quickly as possible. The same goes for Michigan and others!” This tweet, sent at 12:01 ET on Wednesday, was followed by a Twitter exclamation mark and the message: “Learn more about the security efforts in the 2020 U.S. elections. Clicking on the line will take you to a Twitter information page that shows how rare election fraud is throughout the country.
One tweet that is still visible is Trump’s false statement in the early hours of the morning declaring himself the winner prematurely.
Twitter often marks or hides tweets that have been reported in abundance by the users themselves. One factor in reporting a tweet is to mark it as “misleading about a political election or other civic event. Within this category, Twitter users can check several boxes, including “It has false information about how to vote or register to vote… it intends to deter or intimidate someone from voting or participating in a census”.
Facebook has taken a slightly different approach by placing disclaimers below identical Trump posts that highlight contextual information.
“Final results may differ from the original vote counts because the counting of ballots will continue for days or weeks after the election is completed,” says a Facebook disclaimer placed under Trump’s posts on Wednesday morning. “As expected, the election results will take longer this year. Millions of people in the U.S. have voted by mail, and counting ballots by mail takes longer.
Facebook’s Bipartisan Policy Center states: “The votes are counted. The winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election has not been ‘grossed up’ under each Trumpf Facebook post.
Trump railed against election officials in the state of Michigan on Wednesday, claiming that the ongoing vote counting had ruined the chances of GOP Senate candidate John James to vote out incumbent Democratic Senator Gary Peters. This election was not called on Wednesday at 13:45.
This is by far not the first time that Trump’s tweets have been marked as false or misleading by the social media platform for violating its policies. Several Trump tweets during the summer months amid protests against racist riots were marked as a potential threat. One marked Trump tweet warned demonstrators in Washington, D.C., not to form an “autonomous zone” because otherwise they would be “attacked with serious violence. Twitter claimed that the tweet violated its rules because it contained a “threat of harm against an identifiable group.
Washington Newsday turned to both the Trump campaign and Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to make additional comments.