Twitter flags 'president-elect Biden' posts as premature

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 07 2020 03:53 AM

Twitter flags 'president-elect Biden' posts as premature 1
A supporter holds a cardboard cutout of Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden during a march from McPherson square to the White House after Election Day in Washington, D.C., U.S., November 6, 2020. Hannah McKay, Reuters

Twitter on Friday flagged as premature posts referring to Joe Biden as "president-elect," as the vote count continued in the knife-edge US election with the Democrat leading Donald Trump in several key states.

Tweets referring to the former vice president with the victor's title and his running mate Kamala Harris as "vice president-elect" were tagged with messages saying counts were not yet final.

"Official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted," read a message below a post from Democratic Coalition co-founder and podcaster Scott Dworkin using the two titles for Biden and Harris.

The notice came with a link to information about the status of the election.

Twitter and Facebook have been scrambling to flag, mask and limit the spread of premature claims of victory or false attacks on the voting process since the polls closed late Tuesday.

"As votes are still being counted across the country, our teams continue to take enforcement action on tweets that prematurely declare victory or contain misleading information about the election broadly," Twitter said.

"This is in line with our civic integrity policy and our recent guidance on labeling election results."

Unfounded claims by Trump regarding the voting process as well as premature claims of victory about either candidate in the race have been flagged or masked, with links provided to reliable sources of information.

Twitter's action made the comments less visible, and users seeking to read the posts were required to click through a warning.

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'STRONG MANDATE TO LEAD'

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, on Friday called Biden the "president-elect" of the United States after he pulled ahead in key election results.

"This morning it is clear that the Biden-Harris ticket will win the White House," Pelosi told reporters after Biden overtook President Donald Trump in the potentially decisive state of Pennsylvania.

"President-Elect Biden has a strong mandate to lead," she said.

It is "a happy day for our country. Joe Biden is a unifier, because he is determined to bring people together."

Pennsylvania would be enough to put Biden past the magic number of 270 votes in the state-by-state Electoral College, which determines the presidency.

Biden also took a razor-thin lead in votes counted from Georgia, which Trump until late in the campaign did not consider to be in play.

The Democrat has stopped short of declaring victory but said he expected that he and his vice presidential pick Harris would triumph.

Trump has angrily made unsubstantiated claims of fraud and sought to halt vote counting after prematurely declaring victory himself following the close of polls Tuesday.

Biden's performance came despite projections that Democrats will lose several seats in the House of Representatives, a major disappointment for the party which had hoped to expand its majority.

Pelosi played down the losses but said that the next House election in 2022 "will be a steeper climb" without Trump on the ballot.

The party of the president nearly always loses seats in Congress in the first midterm election.