Twitter to impose misinformation limits ahead of US election

New rules restrict candidates from declaring premature victory and block calls for violence and voting interference.

Twitter is imposing new rules ahead of the US presidential election, banning people, including candidates, from claiming an election win before it is called by officials or two authoritative, national news outlets [File: Richard Drew/AP Photo]

Twitter will restrict political candidates from declaring premature victory, make it tougher for users to spread misinformation and block calls for violence on its platform in the days leading up to and following the United States election on November 3.

In a statement on Friday, the social media platform said it would remove tweets that encourage violence or call for people to interfere with voting results.

It will also label tweets that falsely claim a candidate has won, redirecting users to its official US election results page instead.

“To determine the results of an election in the US, we require either an announcement from state election officials or a public projection from at least two authoritative, national news outlets that make independent election calls,” the company’s statement reads.

Starting from October 20, users who want to retweet posts that contain misinformation will see a prompt pointing them to credible information about the topic befure they are able to retweet it, as well.

The step is designed to make people pause and think, the company said, potentially slowing retweets of misleading information that are often a problem on the platform and have raised concerns ahead of the hotly contested presidential vote.

Tweets from US political figures and US-based accounts with more than 100,000 followers that contain misleading information will also come with additional warnings and restrictions, the company said.

“People must tap through a warning to see these tweets, and then will only be able to quote tweet; likes, retweets and replies will be turned off, and these tweets won’t be algorithmically recommended by Twitter,” it said.

“We expect this will further reduce the visibility of misleading information and will encourage people to reconsider if they want to amplify these tweets.”

The changes at Twitter come a day after Facebook announced similar new restrictions ahead of the election, which is less than three weeks away. Early voting has already started in some states.

Social media companies have introduced tighter restrictions amid criticism they had failed to better combat misinformation on their platforms and protect against interference in previous electoral processes.

Trump’s campaign and its Republican allies have been going to new lengths to contest election procedures and question the integrity of mail-in ballots.

Trump has also refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, although both parties have rejected his comments and promised a peaceful transition.

Source: News Agencies