By Twitter Safety
Thursday, 10 September 2020   

Expanding our policies to further protect the civic conversation

The conversation happening on Twitter is never more important than during elections. Twitter is where people come to hear directly from elected officials and candidates for office, it’s where they come to find breaking news, and increasingly, it’s an integral source for information on when and how to vote in elections. As more people seek ways to vote and express their fundamental civil rights safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for this type of information has only grown.

Updating our policies

Our existing Civic Integrity Policy targets the most directly harmful types of content, namely those related to

1. Information or false claims on how to participate in civic processes

2. Content that could intimidate or suppress participation

3. False affiliation

In recognition of the changing circumstances of how people will vote in 2020, and in line with our commitment to protecting the integrity of the election conversation, we’re expanding this existing framework. The goal is to further protect against content that could suppress the vote and help stop the spread of harmful misinformation that could compromise the integrity of an election or other civic process.

What’s changing?

People who use our service have told us that non-specific, disputed information that could cause confusion about an election should be presented with more context.

Starting next week, we will label or remove false or misleading information intended to undermine public confidence in an election or other civic process. This includes but is not limited to:

1. False or misleading information that causes confusion about the laws and regulations of a civic process, or officials and institutions executing those civic processes.

2. Disputed claims that could undermine faith in the process itself, e.g. unverified information about election rigging, ballot tampering, vote tallying, or certification of election results.

3. Misleading claims about the results or outcome of a civic process which calls for or could lead to interference with the implementation of the results of the process, e.g. claiming victory before election results have been certified, inciting unlawful conduct to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession.

In line with our existing enforcement approach, Tweets that are labeled under this expanded policy will have reduced visibility across the service. Reducing the visibility of Tweets means that we will not amplify the Tweets on a number of surfaces across Twitter. However, anyone following the account will still be able to see the Tweet and Retweet.

What’s next?

This policy will take effect in one week on Thursday, September 17, 2020. We will not permit our service to be abused around civic processes, most importantly elections. Any attempt to do so — both foreign and domestic — will be met with strict enforcement of our rules, which are applied equally and judiciously for everyone.