Facebook, Twitter move to suppress Trump posts about trying to vote twice

September 7, 2020

Facebook and Twitter have moved to limit President Donald Trump’s posts encouraging Americans to vote in person, as well as by mail—saying that his messaging violates their policies, Fox Business reports.

Facebook said it would remove videos of Trump’s remarks, if the users who post them do not provide context; or if they appear to support the message. A spokesperson told Politico that the video “violates our policies prohibiting voter fraud” and that the content will be taken down “unless it is shared to correct the record.”

Voting twice constitutes a felony in every state nationwide. In the video, Fox Business reported, Trump said that voting both way would not be a problem, if there are proper safeguards in place to prevent fraud. He claimed that if the system is working properly and a person’s mail-in vote had been processed already, poll workers would be aware of this when a voter tried to cast a ballot in person.

“And if their system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote,” Trump said. “If it isn’t tabulated, they will be able to vote.”

Trump reiterated the message Thursday, September 3 in a Twitter thread, but Twitter added a  “public interest notice” on two of the tweets, limiting how widely they could be shared.

Twitter users may “quote tweet” the messages, but may not not “like,” “reply,” or “retweet” them, the company said.

“To protect people on Twitter, we err on the side of limiting the circulation of Tweets which advise people to take actions which could be illegal in the context of voting or result in the invalidation of their votes,” Twitter wrote.

“Per our policies, this Tweet will remain on the service given its relevance to ongoing public conversation,” the company said. “Engagements with the Tweet will be limited.”

Also Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a slate of new policies to fight voter misinformation–including cutting off new political ads a week before Election Day and limiting forwarding on Facebook’s Messenger app.

Advertisers still will be able to run political ads in the week before the election, but Facebook will not green-light new political or issue ads in the week leading up to Election Day.

Research contact: @FoxBusiness

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