As voting begins for the US presidential polls Tuesday, Twitter has warned that it may label tweets, starting on election night, that make claims about election results before they are officially called. The move comes at a time when a USAToday survey showed that three out of four Americans were concerned about election day violence.
"We'll be prioritising the presidential election and other highly contested races where there may be significant issues with misleading information," Twitter said on the eve of the election.
Twitter said it will consider a result official when announced by a state election official, or when calls are made by at least two of the seven national news outlets that have dedicated, independent election decision desks: ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, NBC News, Associated Press, CNN, or Decision Desk HQ.
When users attempt to Retweet a Tweet with a misleading information label, they'll see a prompt pointing them to credible information before they are able to amplify it further on Twitter. "If we see content inciting interference with the election, encouraging violent action or other physical harms, we may take additional measures, such as adding a warning or requiring the removal of tweets," Twitter said.
Earlier in the day, Twitter and Facebook have flagged a tweet as misleading by US President Donald Trump that claimed that mail-in ballots in the US state of Pennsylvania would allow "rampant" cheating and violence. Twitter labeled the post with a warning: "Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process."
Trump tweeted on Monday: "The Supreme Court decision on voting in Pennsylvania is a VERY dangerous one. It will allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws. It will also induce violence in the streets. Something must be done!"
Twitter also disabled non-quote retweets, likes and replies for the hidden tweet, which remains viewable but restricted. Trump has railed against the Supreme Court's decision to allow Pennsylvania officials to count ballots postmarked by Election Day.
Facebook did not remove the Trump message but did add a label, saying "Both voting by mail and voting in person have a long history of trustworthiness in the US. Voter fraud is extremely rare across voting methods".