On Thursday, Twitter announced a more detailed set of rules to combat misinformation ahead of the US election in November. Starting September 17th, the platform will label or remove tweets involving election rigging or premature election results, treating those categories as particularly likely to cause immediate harm.
“The conversation happening on Twitter is never more important than during elections,” Twitter said in a blog post rolling out the new policy. “Twitter is where people come to hear directly from elected officials and candidates for office, it’s where they come to find breaking news, and increasingly, it’s an integral source for information on when and how to vote in elections.”
“The conversation happening on Twitter is never more important than during elections”
Twitter’s new rules will likely bring the platform into conflict with President Trump. Over the last few months, Trump has sent out numerous tweets making false or misleading statements about the November election and voting process. Under this new policy, confusing posts regarding ballot box tampering, elections results, and election rigging will either be fact-checked or removed.
The Trump administration has already squared off with Twitter over its application of fact-checks on the president’s tweets. After Twitter labeled a false tweet about mail-in voting over the summer, Trump signed an executive order aimed at paring back protections provided to social media platforms through Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The Federal Communications Commission was asked to reinterpret the pivotal internet law earlier this year, but it has yet to act on the order.
Last week, Facebook also announced that it would label posts from candidates prematurely declaring victory. Facebook also said that it would not accept new political ads a week before the November election takes place, and it would expand its work to label posts that could suppress the vote. Twitter banned all political advertising last year.