Election 2020: Twitter, Facebook create warning labels in case victory claimed too soon

The social media sites are doing this, to ensure that unlike the 2016 presidential election, the platforms are not misused.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Facebook and Twitter say they are fighting election misinformation by flagging posts that claim victory too soon.

"Misinformation are lies and nobody wants to have their decisions based on lies," said cybersecurity expert, Ahmed Banafa, who is a professor in the engineering school at San Jose State University.

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Banafa says Facebook and Twitter have spent billions, and have dedicated teams of employees and tens of thousands of people to combat misinformation. The social media sites are doing this, to ensure that unlike the 2016 presidential election, the platforms are not misused.

"We don't want to have any bias in any kind of information unless it is solid, clear, and it came from multiple sources."

Because of the pandemic, Americans are casting more mail-in ballots, which means races may not get called on election night. Facebook and Twitter created new labels to warn users, in the event a candidate or party claim premature victory.

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Democrats votes are likely to be counted later, because they outnumbered republicans in mail-in voting



Social media users may come across content on the platforms that's been flagged. Twitter gave an example of its blue labels, with one that says "official sources called this election differently."

Facebook and Instagram's labels appear in black and may say things like, "votes are still being counted" or "too early to call."

"If you think the races have already been called and you say 'no, I'm not even going to bother going to the polls,' that's a concern," said CNET editor in chief, Connie Guglielmo.

"If someone calls a race, which has actually not been counted, and then the final results come out, it leaves open the conspiracy theorists to say, 'oh no that person actually won' and they didn't, and that brings the whole election process into question and undermines our democracy."

Guglielmo recommends staying off social media on election day and instead reading and watching trusted news sites, papers, and TV stations.

Get the latest stories and videos about the 2020 election here.
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