In a surprising last-minute move, Twitter has announced a huge step towards combatting misinformation during this week's national electoral results. Beginning tomorrow, the social media platform will not consider an election result official unless it is either announced by a state's election officer, or verified by two national news outlets from the following list: ABC News, Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Decision Desk HQ, Fox News, and NBC News.
Furthermore, any tweets from political accounts, profiles with sufficient followers, or sizable social media shares claiming otherwise before results are properly verified will be flagged.
In a blog post, Twitter explained:
Because this is an unusual election — restrictions in response to COVID-19 have led to historically high numbers of mail-in ballots, which may result in some state results not being resolved on election night — we are taking additional steps to provide context when results have not been officially called. Beginning on election night through the inauguration, we will label some Tweets that make claims about election results. We will be prioritizing the presidential election and other highly contested races where there may be significant issues with misleading information based on the below criteria.
The latest attempt (in a recent string of many) to calm a violent, volatile political landscape is welcome news from a company partly responsible for said violent, volatile political landscape, but the new code of conduct might be too little, too late. It almost certainly won't change Trump's behavior, a man whose Twitter password, until very recently, may literally have been "maga2020!" and it certainly won't convince bad-faith actors to quit trying to undermine election results, either. Still, it's a shitshow out there, and it's only gonna get shittier after tomorrow, no matter the results. We'll take what we can get right now, to be honest.