From today on Twitter US users see two major notices at the top of their feeds aimed at “preemptively debunking” voting-related misinformation. The eye-catching messages are intended to counter the spate of false claims about the 2020 elections.
One notice warns users that they may encounter "misleading information" about mail-in polls, while the other tries to avoid the chaos associated with online voting by advising that the results of the US May delay elections.
Delayed results are a very possible outcome in an election that sees more ballots being cast in the mail than ever before. States have different rules about when postal ballots can be counted, making it possible for official results to actually take some time – a situation that should be normalized beforehand.
The prompts direct users to Twitter Moments which gather pertinent information on both topics. The hints are also displayed when searching for relevant terms and hashtags.
Social media companies have struggled to prepare their platforms for the unique challenges of an extremely controversial US election amid a deepening national health crisis. While these efforts have been mixed – some weak, others more robust – providing proactive, attention-grabbing notices to everyone is a solid step over the easily overlooked misinformation "labels" applied to false claims on Twitter and Facebook.