The social media platform Twitter announced earlier this week how they intend to police content on the platform in the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections, a move in which Twitter claims is meant to “protect civic conversation.”
On August 11th, Twitter released a blog post titled, “Our approach to the 2022 US midterms,” where the platform announced the “steps we’re taking ahead of the US midterms to protect civic conversation on Twitter.”
As of the date of the blog post from the social media company, Twitter activated their “Civic Integrity Policy,” which the platform asserts “has helped people find credible information during elections and other civic processes,” as well as censoring what Twitter believes to be “harmful misleading information about elections and civic events.”
According to Twitter, violations of the Civic Integrity Policy covers four general areas:
- Misleading information about how to participate (in an election or other civic process)
- Suppression and intimidation
- Misleading information about outcomes
- False or misleading affiliation
The “Misleading information about how to participate” in an election or civic process is pretty straight forward, in that Twitter posts spreading falsehoods about what’s needed to vote, where polling places are located, times when polling places open or close, and other general aspects in that realm will violate the platform’s policy.
The “Suppression and intimidation” section of the policy notes that Twitter “will label or remove false or misleading information intended to intimidate or dissuade people from participating in an election or other civic process.”
This part of the policy blends somewhat with the aforementioned misleading information bit, using examples like lying about long voting lines or falsely claiming police activity is occurring at a polling location. However, the portion of the policy does mention threats used to intimidate voters, highlighting that said infraction could also violate the company’s “violent threats policy.”
The “Misleading information about outcomes” is the real kicker in this Twitter policy, as the social media company intends to police content they believe to promote “unverified information about election rigging, ballot tampering, vote tallying, or certification of election results,” as well as “misleading claims about the results or outcome of a civic process.”
Basically, chatter about whether an election may have been stolen or whether funny business was transpiring at a polling location is likely to be shut down by Twitter, as the platform is concerned such talk “could lead to interference with the implementation of the results of” an election.
Then there’s the “False or misleading affiliation” portion of the policy, which reads, “You can’t create fake accounts which misrepresent their affiliation, or share content that falsely represents its affiliation, to a candidate, elected official, political party, electoral authority, or government entity.”
For some reason, Twitter has yet to address Liz Cheney’s misleading affiliation with the Republican party.