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How Facebook, Twitter differ on labelling Donald Trump’s US election posts

Social media companies put warning labels on multiple posts by President Donald Trump that falsely claimed victory in the US election and pushed unfounded allegations about the counting of legitimate ballots.

The companies differ in how directly they challenge false statements. Twitter labelled tweets as “misleading” and limited how they could be shared and seen. Facebook acted on more posts but did not describe the information as misleading or limit how they could be shared or seen.

Here is a sampling of how the companies handled Trump’s posts starting on election night:

Wednesday 12:45am ET (11:15am IST) – TRUMP: “I will be making a statement tonight. A big WIN!”

Facebook placed a label below the post: “Votes are being counted. The winner of the 2020 US Presidential Election has not been projected.”

Twitter opted not to label the tweet. A spokeswoman said it was unclear what Trump was referencing by “a big WIN.”

Wednesday 12:49am ET (11:19am IST) – TRUMP: “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!”

Facebook placed a label below the post: “Final results may be different from initial vote counts as ballot counting will continue for days or weeks.”

Twitter hid the tweet, requiring a user to click to view it and limiting replies. Its label stated: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”

Wednesday 1:21am ET (11:51am IST) – TRUMP (in live video): “Frankly, we did win this election…This is a major fraud on our nation.”

Facebook placed a label below the video: “Final results may be different from initial vote counts as ballot counting will continue for days or weeks.”

Twitter opted not to label the tweet, saying clips of a press conference did not violate its policy and noting that numerous press organisations carried the video.

Wednesday 10:04am ET (8:34pm IST) – TRUMP: “Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!”

Facebook placed a label below the post: “Final results may be different from initial vote counts as ballot counting will continue for days or weeks.”

Twitter hid the tweet, requiring a user to click to view it and limiting replies. Its label stated: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”

Wednesday 10:17am ET (8:47pm IST) – TRUMP: “How come every time they count Mail-In ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?”

Facebook placed a label below the post: “As expected, election results will take longer this year. Millions of people across the U.S. voted by mail, and mail ballots take longer to count.”

Twitter did not label the tweet.

Wednesday 10:35am ET (9:05pm IST) – TRUMP: “WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT” (quote-tweet of claim questioning the legitimacy of ballot returns in Michigan)

Twitter hid the quoted tweet, requiring a user to click to view it and limiting replies, but did not label Trump’s post.

The comment did not appear on Facebook.

Wednesday 11:55am ET (10:25pm IST) – TRUMP: “They are finding Biden votes all over the place — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So bad for our Country!”

Twitter did not label the tweet.

The comment did not appear on Facebook.

Wednesday 12:01pm ET (10:31pm IST) – TRUMP: “They are working hard to make up 500,000 vote advantage in Pennsylvania disappear — ASAP. Likewise, Michigan and others!”

Facebook placed a label below the post: “Election officials follow strict rules when it comes to ballot counting, handling and reporting.”

Twitter hid the tweet, requiring a user to click to view it and limiting replies. Its label stated: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”




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