Twitter, Facebook Scramble to Keep Up With False Claims as Votes Continue to Be Counted


Election Day has come and gone, but the results of the battle for the presidency of the U.S. are still up in the air, keeping Twitter and Facebook on their toes.

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As previously reported, President Donald Trump posted the following message to Facebook at 12:47 a.m. ET and tweeted it two minutes later: “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!”

Twitter placed a label over the tweet, reading, “Some or all of the content shared in this tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process,” and it also prevented other Twitter users from replying to it or retweeting it, along with removing the tweet’s engagement metrics.

Twitter Safety tweeted, “We placed a warning on a tweet from @realDonaldTrump for making a potentially misleading claim about an election. This action is in line with our Civic Integrity Policy.”

Facebook did not remove or fact-check Trump’s post, but it did place a label underneath it, reading, “Final results may be different from initial vote counts, as ballot counting will continue for days or weeks,” citing the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Even before Trump’s brush with the two social networks, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) tweeted at 12:05 a.m. ET, “Thank you for this historic victory, North Carolina! Looking forward to SIX MORE YEARS of fighting for you and your family in the U.S. Senate. #ncsen #ncpol.”

His tweet was not hidden, but Twitter added a label cautioning, “Official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted.”

Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair Ben Wikler drew Twitter’s ire with a tweet at 7:21 a.m. ET Wednesday reading, “Green Bay and Kenosha results are in. (Former Vice President Joe Biden) is now up in Wisconsin by roughly 20,600 votes. That number could wobble a bit, but there’s no realistic path for Trump to pull ahead. Biden has won more votes any prez candidate in WI history. Folks: Joe Biden just won Wisconsin.”

Twitter applied the same label to Wikler’s tweet as it did to Trump’s.

Wikler had not posted on Facebook since Oct. 9.

Trump fired off another tweet at 10:04 a.m. ET and Facebook post one minute later that also likely violate both platforms’ guidelines.

He wrote, “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!”

Twitter and Facebook took the same actions as they did on Trump’s earlier tweet and post.

At 10:17 a.m., Trump tweeted, “How come every time they count Mail-In ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?” Twitter opted not to take action on this tweet. Facebook, meanwhile, attached a label to the bottom of Trump’s identical post, citing the Bipartisan Policy Center and reading, “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.”

The president went all-uppercase at 10:35 a.m., tweeting, “WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?” on a quote tweet of blogger Matt Walsh’s tweet, which shared an update from Travis County GOP chair and podcaster Matt Mackowiak saying that Biden got all 128,000 of the votes in an update from Michigan.

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