THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Social media companies struggled to contain false claims, including those from President Donald Trump and his supporters. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pledged ahead of Election Day to deploy efforts to stop the spread of election misinformation, including unsubstantiated charges of fraud and premature declarations of victory by candidates.

Twitter has been placing some of Trump’s tweets behind a warning and adding a misinformation label. The company stated the president’s message contained a “potentially” misleading claim about an election. The platform also permanently suspended an account associated with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon after he proposed violence against Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray. The video posted online Thursday suggested the two should be beheaded. On Wednesday, Facebook expanded a policy to label premature claims of victory, and the company said it would begin labeling posts from any individual, not just the presidential candidates, that declare premature victory. 

Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly tweeted for Twitter to suspend the president’s account. “This is pure disinformation. Valid votes are being counted. This is American, not Russia.” Retiring Texas GOP Rep. Will Hurd bluntly stated the president’s rhetoric was “dangerous.” Other key Republicans fell in line with Trump’s statements. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham told Hannity Thursday that he will donate $500,000 to the Trump campaign’s legal efforts to challenge election procedures in multiple states. “Everything should be on the table,” Graham said

Some individuals have remained wary of social media’s tactics even leading up to the election.  “The social media and the media have stolen this election from Donald Trump,” a Republican from Florida told USA Today. The man said social media has not been fair throughout the election, mainly stemming from social media companies’ decision to moderate content. Facebook attached a fact-checking label to a repost of his that stated Black Lives Matter is a “terrorist organization.”

Even days past Election Day, Facebook has said, “Our work isn’t done – we’ll stay vigilant and promote reliable information on Facebook as votes continue to be counted.” 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

On Election Day, Facebook and Twitter Did Better by Making Their Products Worse – The New York Times – 11/5/2020
For the last four years, executives at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media companies have been obsessed with a single, overarching goal: to avoid being blamed for wrecking the 2020 U.S. election, as they were in 2016, when Russian trolls and disinformation peddlers ran roughshod over their defenses.

Social media companies failed to stop election misinformation in Spanish – Quartz – 11/5/2020
In the run-up to the 2020 US presidential election, social media platforms unveiled a bevy of strategies for tamping down misinformation before and after the polls closed. While they appear to have done a decent job moderating English-language content, a torrent of misinformation has slipped through in Spanish.

Here’s how social media companies are fighting election misinformation – CNET – 11/6/2020
The efforts to combat misinformation come as social media companies weather a storm of criticism from all quarters about the Nov. 3 election between President Donald Trump, a Republican, and challenger Joe Biden, a Democrat. Conservatives say social networks suppress their speech in an effort to sway the election. The companies deny the allegations. Liberals say the companies haven’t done enough to stamp out fake news. 

As election anxiety floods social media, so do the memes – NBC News – 11/5/2020
As the presidential election results stretched into Thursday, the internet turned to memes to cope with the ambiguity surrounding the next president of the United States.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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