Here are the biggest takeaways from a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll, taken after the final presidential debate.
Facebook and Twitter on early Wednesday warned social media users that President Donald Trump’s claims regarding the election results are potentially misleading, including his claim that he had won the election.
After the president falsely claimed in a speech around 2:30 a.m. ET that he had won the race and baselessly alleged fraud on the behalf of his opponents, Facebook labeled a video feed featuring those comments. With votes still being counted, no clear winner has been determined at this time.
“Final results may be different from initial vote counts, as ballot counting will continue for days or weeks. Source: Bipartisan Policy Center.”
The company also displayed a post on the top of the Facebook News Feed with clarity about the results: “The winner of the 2020 US President Election has not been projected yet. See the latest vote counts and know what to expect as the process continues.”
The president’s campaign also tweeted footage of the speech. Twitter had not labeled that video as of 3 a.m. Wednesday.
Twitter also flagged another tweet from Trump Wednesday related to election results, claiming “some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”
Facebook and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment on how they are handling the president’s claims regarding the election outcome.
Earlier, both companies labeled Trump posts about the election.
At 12:47 a.m. on Facebook and at 12:49 a.m. on Twitter, Trump posted, “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!”
There is no evidence for the claim that Democrats are attempting to steal the election. There is also no evidence for widespread voter fraud of any kind.
Within minutes of the tweet, Twitter labeled it, “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.” The company also included a link to details about its policy.
And within minutes of the Facebook post, the company labeled it, “Final results may be different from initial vote counts, as ballot counting will continue for days or weeks. Source: Bipartisan Policy Center.”
Later Wednesday, Facebook labeled an update from Trump questioning the ballot count, noting election results will take longer this year “as expected.”
The social media giants’ quick reaction to the president’s posts come after they pledged to take action against erroneous claims of voter fraud.
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The president’s posts also drew swift condemnation early Wednesday from election watchdogs.
“It’s false, it’s premature, it’s dangerous and it could get people hurt,” CNN anchor Jake Tapper said of the president’s claim that the election was being stolen.
President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden. (Photo: USA TODAY Network)
Asked for comment, Twitter spokesperson Lauren Myers-Cavanagh pointed to the company’s tweet: “We placed a warning on a Tweet from @realDonaldTrump for making a potentially misleading claim about an election. This action is in line with our Civic Integrity Policy.” Twitter also linked to its policy.
Trump posted on Twitter and Facebook, “I will be making a statement tonight. A big WIN!” Twitter did not immediately place a label on that tweet. Facebook labeled the post with, “Votes are being counted. The winner of the 2020 US Presidential Election has not been projected,” and linked to election updates.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tweeted at 1:03 a.m. ET, “We feel good about where we are. We believe we are on track to win this election.”
Twitter did not label Biden’s tweet.
“Nobody should be saying ‘cheating,'” CNN journalist John King said.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.
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