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Twitter, Facebook Scramble To Protect Voters From Trump’s Misinformation

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During a visit to North Carolina this week, President Donald Trump urged his supporters to try to vote both by mail and in-person — an act in violation of federal and North Carolina voter fraud laws. In response, Facebook and Twitter moved to limit Trump’s remarks, which the social media companies said violated their election integrity rules.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement that video of the remarks “violates our policies prohibiting voter fraud.” And Twitter separately slapped warning labels on two Trump tweets that similarly urged supporters to attempt to cast two ballots.

It’s the latest instance of the major social media companies taking enforcement action against Trump and his allies for violating their rules on election misinformation and civic integrity.

And in a series of tweets Thursday morning, Trump urged his more than 85 million followers to both “MAIL IN your Ballot as EARLY as possible” and to “go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been Tabulated (Counted).”

He added, “If it has you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly. If it has not been Counted, VOTE (which is a citizen’s right to do).”

Facebook and Twitter’s rulings: A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement that video of the remarks “violates our policies prohibiting voter fraud” and will be removed “unless it is shared to correct the record.”

Facebook also said it will ban political ads the week before the November election.

Twitter’s public safety team said it would add public notice labels to the Trump tweets “for encouraging people to potentially vote twice,” in violation of its rules. But the company said it would stop short of removing the posts, and instead would restrict users’ ability to engage with the post by restricting likes, replies and retweets.

“To protect people on Twitter, we err on the side of limiting the circulation of Tweets which advise people to take actions which could be illegal in the context of voting or result in the invalidation of their votes,” Twitter’s safety team wrote in a post.