Twitter warning users about early claims of victory in election

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As we approach a U.S. presidential marked by the coronavirus and a corresponding increase in mail-in ballots, the social media giant that encourages users to “see what’s happening in the world right now” is taking a different approach.

On Monday, Twitter began a messaging campaign intended to inform its users that election results might take a while — and that you shouldn’t necessarily believe early claims of victory.

Essentially, Twitter decided to get out ahead of what will likely be a messy post-election period. The campaign, at least as of now, focuses on two election-related topics likely to be rife with misinformation: the aforementioned timing of election results, and the safety of voting by mail.

“The first prompt will confirm that voting by mail is safe and secure, and the second will remind people that there might be a delay in the announcement of election results,” a Twitter spokesperson wrote in a press release announcing the campaign. “Both will link to Twitter Moments that provide more context and compile the latest credible information on the topic from election experts, journalists and other authoritative news sources.”

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Oh, yeah.And Twitter really wants to make sure you see its warnings. The messages will appear in both the home timelines and in search (when people search related terms) of all U.S.-based users.

Notably, Twitter did not specify in its announcement how long this campaign will last. One can only hope there won’t still be a need for it well past election day.It’s a positive sign that such a for-profit enterprise like Twitter decided to step up and help inform the country. But that it felt compelled to do so bodes poorly for all of us.

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