Twitter restricts Trump campaign official’s tweet alleging Philadelphia voter fraud
November 4, 2020
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Twitter is warning users about misleading tweets from Philadelphia’s polling locations, offering an early preview of how it will handle the rest of the night. The platform has already restricted a tweet from Trump’s director of election day operations, Mike Roman, among others.

“Misinformation being spread online has driven more calls to the Election Task Force hotline than actual incidents at polling sites,” complained the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to New York Times reporter Nick Corasaniti.

Roman posted a video showing a woman in Philadelphia apparently returning multiple ballots to a dropbox and claimed Democrats were “trying to STEAL THE ELECTION in broad daylight.” But Philadelphia DAO spokeswoman Jane Roh noted that you can legally deliver ballots on behalf of voters with a disability and also said that “whatever those papers are,” they’re twice the size of official mail-in ballots.

Twitter added a warning label saying that “some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process,” and it restricted people’s ability to retweet or reply to the tweet.

On Twitter, the Philadelphia DAO also said it investigated a different claim of misconduct from Roman and concluded that the tweet was “deliberately deceptive.” Twitter added a generic informational label to three other Roman tweets, citing its civic integrity policy.

Veteran political operative Roman has helped organize an “army” of poll watchers to capture alleged voting fraud on behalf of President Donald Trump, and his restricted tweet has been retweeted by Eric Trump and other campaign members.

Twitter’s moderation policy arm has been actively preparing for the election, anticipating an outpouring of high-stakes misinformation. In September, the platform expanded its misinformation rules to include premature declarations of victory. In the week leading up to Election Day, Twitter also rolled out an anti-misinformation banner, intended to “preemptively address topics that are likely to be the subject of election misinformation.”

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