President Donald Trump has prematurely declared victory, even though the vote-counting process is not over yet. In light of this, Silicon Valley companies are preparing to deal with misinformation and confusion that may spread on their social platforms in the days to follow.
Trump made this announcement shortly after Election Day on Wednesday. His followers were delighted, but many people were concerned that if the result changes after all of the votes are counted, then there will be confusion among voters that may lead to legal battles.
Several experts on misinformation as well as tech professionals predicted months before that the election process will be harmed because of lies spread online by foreign and domestic groups as well as far-right groups.
The companies are concerned because the president already disapproves of Silicon Valley’s approach, accusing them of being biased against him. If they censor and fact-check him, he might make policies against them stricter.
Facebook and Twitter monitored posts on their respective networks on Wednesday and tagged a few of the president’s posts, which they believe breached their election misinformation policies.
During the last presidential elections, operatives working for Russia used social media to aggravate the political conflict in America. The companies are now taking precautionary measures to ensure this does not happen again.
Social media networks are trying to come up with a way to control the spread of misinformation while also ensuring freedom of speech online.
Trump has made the situation worse by manipulating and creating doubts in people’s minds. He has claimed that mail-in ballots are a fraud and is repeatedly demanding that the next president should be announced on Election Day. This, however, is not possible since the ballots have always been counted for weeks after Election Day.
In response to this situation, Twitter has changed its policies. If anyone announces the winner of the election before the authorities have finalized the results, the post will be tagged with a link to the authorized results of the election.
Similarly, if someone announces a win on YouTube, a disclaimer will be added to the video that the elections are still on-going and the winner has not been determined yet. The video will be taken down if it contains further misinformation about voting.
Facebook will also be tagging similar posts with a disclaimer that the votes are still being processed. It will also display credible results in its Voter Information Center.