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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Facebook posts from Trump, Biden get new voting information label

Facebook’s new voting information label appeared on posts this week from both President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. While the label may appear similar to fact-checks on other social networks, the Facebook notice doesn’t necessarily mean the posts contain misinformation.

The company last week began adding labels to posts about voting from federal officials and candidates in the US. The label is meant to direct people to credible information about elections.

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Biden campaign spokesman Bill Russo on Tuesday criticized Facebook’s use of the new voting information label, suggesting in a tweet that the same label was being applied to both helpful and dangerous posts. Others on social media also raised concern about the Facebook label.

Russo’s tweet was in response to an image showing the voting information label on posts from both Trump and Biden. Trump’s post, which also appeared on Twitter, attacked mail-in voting: “Mail-In Voting, unless changed by the courts, will lead to the most CORRUPT ELECTION in our Nation’s History! #RIGGEDELECTION.” The Biden post called on people to “vote Donald Trump out this November.”

Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Earlier this year, Twitter labeled two tweets about mail-in voting from the president as containing “potentially misleading information about voting processes.” Twitter’s label, which is somewhat similar to the one being used by Facebook, led to a page explaining that fact-checkers say there isn’t any evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud.

Twitter’s action appears to have been a tipping point in a relationship between conservatives and social media companies that’s long been fraught. In May, Trump signed an executive order that aims to curtail legal protections for Twitter, Facebook and other online companies.

Trump’s post on Tuesday about mail-in voting doesn’t violate Twitter’s rules and will not be labeled, said a company spokesperson. As part of its Civic Integrity Policy, Twitter says it doesn’t take action on “broad, non-specific statements about the integrity of elections or civic processes.”

The White House and the Biden campaign didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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