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Home / US / How Twitter, Facebook and YouTube handle false information about elections

How Twitter, Facebook and YouTube handle false information about elections



Now that the election is taking place, there are major differences in the approaches of major tech platforms to censor misinformation and influence its spread.

Twitter (TWTR) is the most active in labeling and addressing false and misleading content, while Facebook and YouTube have embraced it more gently.

The three platforms have taken different approaches. Twitter has gone so far as to reduce users’ ability to share misleading posts, while Facebook is flagging false information, but not hindering sharing. YouTube is arguably the least aggressive action, by relying on a single label – which reminds everyone that the US election results may not be final ̵

1; on any and all content. related to the election.

Twitter has labeled and restricted how tweets can be shared, including some by President Trump. For example, Twitter placed a label on a President tweet in which he declared unfounded “We’re BIG, but they’re trying to VOTE THE ELECTION.”

“Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and could be misleading about how to participate in an election or another civic process,” the label on that tweet by Trump wrote.

Twitter has also restricted the way such tweets are shared, including deleting replies and likes, and only allowing users to quote tweets – allowing users to share a tweet with comments attached to it. their own – instead of retweeting. (Twitter is also applying other labels to tweets that, by its standards, are calling the election results for one of the two candidates soon. One of its labels reads: “Official sources may already be Don’t call the race when this is tweeted. “)
On the same post by Trump on its platform, Facebook (FB) has used ambiguous language in its labels and, unlike Twitter, has no restrictions on how it can be viewed or shared. The Facebook label reads: “The final result may differ from the original tally results, as the counting of the votes will continue for days or weeks.” According to data from Crowdtangle, an analytics firm owned by Facebook itself, on Wednesday morning it was one of the most engaged with Facebook posts.

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said: “Once President Trump starts declaring victory early, we start running top announcements on Facebook and Instagram so everyone knows the vote is still being held. and yet an unpredicted winner. We have also started to automatically apply labels to both candidate posts with this information. “

Facebook also tagged a post on Tuesday night from Donald Trump, in which he said, “I’m going to make a statement tonight. A big win!”

The Facebook label warns: “The votes are still counting. The winner of the 2020 US Presidential Election is not yet predicted.”

Late Wednesday afternoon, Facebook said it was extending the early victory declaration label to apply to non-presidential candidates, including at the state level. This will also apply to the Instagrams it owns.

Jennifer Grygiel, a professor of social media at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, criticized the last-minute decision. “It should have been obvious. They should prepare to do this sooner,” said Grygiel. “[Social platforms] are writing rules on the road as they go along. ”

Pennsylvania emerged as the early focus of misinformation about Online Election Day

Instagram previously announced that it would temporarily hide the “Recent” tab so it won’t show up on all hashtag pages – whether they’re politically related or not. The company said it hopes the move will help prevent the spread of false information and harmful content related to the election.

Meanwhile, YouTube has placed a bulletin board at the top of election-related search results, as well as below videos about the election. The box says the “may not be the final” election, and it directs users to the real-time Google parent company’s election tracking feature. It also takes measures similar to what it did in previous elections, such as advertising content from authoritative news sources in search results.

However, they are letting a video containing false information about the election appear on their platform without verifying the authenticity or labeling that the video was misinformed – revealing the limits of what the Social media platforms are doing to combat the spread of dangerous false statements about election results.

In a YouTube video posted by far-right news organization One American News Network on Wednesday, a host said “President Trump won another four years in office last night.” The video also includes unsubstantiated claims that Democrats are “flipping Republican votes, collecting fake votes, and delaying the results to create confusion.” The video has been viewed more than 350,000 times. CNBC was the first to report on the video.

While the video – like other videos related to the election – has a label saying that the result may not be final in the US election, YouTube said the video did not violate its rules and would not deleted.

“Our community guidelines prohibit content that is misleading to viewers about voting, such as content intended to mislead voters about time, place, means, or adequacy requirements. Lawsuits for voting or false statements may prevent voting, said Ivy Choi, a spokesperson for the video.

However, YouTube says it has stopped running video ads – while admitting the video has misinformation. “We remove ads from videos that contain election bias, like this one,” Choi said.

The company said it removed some live streams on Election Day that violated its policies on spam, fraud, and fraud.

The OAN anchor girl in the video shared a YouTube link to her personal Twitter account with the comment “Trump won. MSM hope you don’t believe your eyes”. Twitter said according to its policy on Civic integrity, the tweet did not qualify to be labeled suggesting it could contain an early call for election results as the original account had fewer than 100,000 followers. Following and tweeting hasn’t reached engagement level yet, if not, get it eligible. However, it was posted back by the official OAN account, which has 1.1 million followers.




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