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Twitter to Label and Delete ‘False or Misleading’ Election Information

Tweets that erroneously claim ballots have been tampered with or the election is rigged, for example, will be cracked down on

Twitter will start labeling or deleting more tweets that share “false or misleading” information on the 2020 election. The expanded policy, which will go into effect next week, will target tweets that may “undermine public confidence” in the election process, the company said Thursday in a blog post announcing the decision.

The Bay Area-based company shared a few examples of the kind of information it will be taking action against, including “false or misleading information that causes confusion about the laws and regulations of a civic process.” Disputed claims that “could undermine faith” in the election process — like claims of election rigging and ballot tampering — will also be cracked down on, as well as misleading claims about election results. Twitter said it will also take action against tweets that incite “unlawful conduct” that may “prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession.”

It’s unclear what the dividing line is between having a label attached to tweets or having them removed altogether. Twitter, as it already does, said tweets with labels attached to them will have limited visibility and that the company will not “amplify” them across the service.

“We will not permit our service to be abused around civic processes, most importantly elections,” Twitter said. “Any attempt to do so — both foreign and domestic — will be met with strict enforcement of our rules, which are applied equally and judiciously for everyone.”

The changes come a few months before the 2020 U.S. election, with incumbent Republican Donald Trump looking to win reelection against Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The changes also come after Twitter and Trump have increasingly been at odds in recent months after Twitter started adding fact-check notifications to some of the president’s tweets. In response, President Trump in May signed an executive order calling on the FCC to review Section 230, a law that gives tech companies the ability to censor or moderate content on their platforms. (You can read more about what legal experts have to say about the executive order by clicking here.)

Last week, Facebook said it would not be accepting new political ads the week before Election Day on November 3, while also working to curb “clear misinformation” on COVID-19 and voting.