Twitter obscured a tweet sent late Tuesday by President Donald Trump claiming his re-election bid was “up BIG” and that his political opponents were “trying to steal the election.”
Twitter said it placed the warning on Trump’s tweet “for making a potentially misleading claim about an election.”
Twitter has been labeling and reducing the reach of tweets that contain unverified or false claims about voter fraud. The company labeled several tweets from Mike Roman, the Trump campaign’s director of Election Day operations, that contained misleading claims about voting. In one tweet that was labeled with a notice that states “Learn about US 2020 election security efforts,” Roman falsely claims that Democrat election officials are banning Trump poll watchers in Philadelphia. “The steal is on!,” he tweeted.
As Americans turn to mail-in ballots to cast their votes amid the coronavirus pandemic, it could be unclear who the winners are on Tuesday night. Over 100 million Americans have voted already with one day left before Election Day, according to CNN, Edison Research and Catalist, with those votes representing more than 45% of registered voters across the US. Election officials have said it will likely take days to count those votes, delaying the final call on the presidential race and other notable elections taking place.
Facebook couched Trump’s statement, pointing out that “final results may be different from initial vote counts, as ballot counting will continue for days or weeks.”
Social networks prepared for the possibility that some politicians may try to declare victory before the results are projected. Trump reportedly told confidants he’ll declare victory on election night if it appears like he’s ahead, Axios reported on Sunday. Facebook and Twitter have both created new labels to warn users that the votes are still being counted and both say they plan to direct users to authoritative information.
Facebook clarified its rule late Tuesday, exempting Trump or other individuals who claim victory for a candidate in battleground states before votes are counted. The social network told the Wall Street Journal that its prohibition against premature declarations of victory on its platform was only meant to apply to the result of the presidential election, not individual states.
Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
CNET’s Queenie Wong contributed to this report.