Trump Posted Election Night Disinformation. Twitter and Facebook Took Different Routes.

The platforms scramble responding to the president’s first unsubstantiated claims about the emerging results.

Trump at his campaign headquarters on Election Day.Alex Brandon/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

As anticipated, Donald Trump took to social media to weigh in prematurely on the election early on Wednesday morning, baselessly claiming on social media that “we are up BIG” but that “they are trying to STEAL the Election.”

Early results do not show Trump with a big lead, nor is there this evidence of a plot to steal the election from Trump. Accordingly Facebook and Twitter immediately took action on the claim, which Trump posted to both platforms, but with notably different approaches: Twitter aggressively shielded its users from the claim, while Facebook continued relaying it with a minor notification appended.

Twitter opted to outright block users from seeing one of Trump’s tweets unless they clicked a warning label saying the content was “disputed.”

Twitter explained that Trump’s tweet ran afoul of its Civic Integrity Policy.

Facebook, a larger platform with as much as eight times as many users, opted to not restrict the post at all, and instead put a label beneath reading “Final results may be different from initial vote counts.” Facebook signaled in a September blog post that instead of restricting such posts, it would apply an “informational label to content that seeks to delegitimize the outcome of the election,” or if a “candidate or campaign tries to declare victory before the final results,”

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate