Here are the 7 ‘unbiased’ media outlets Twitter will ‘lean on’ to call 2020 election results
Twitter announced today more details about its policies concerning tweets that declare election results and it named seven outlets they will use to help determine whether a race is officially called in the 2020 election. The outlets include ABC News, AP, CNN, CBS News, Decision Desk HQ, Fox News, and NBC News. These are all media outlets that Twitter and their ‘experts’ have agreed have verified, unbiased decision desks calling elections.
Since many get their news from the social media giants, Twitter appears to be exercising their political influence to determine who calls the election. Fox News is the only semi-conservative media outlet chosen in calling the election. Fox News has discussed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Big Tech censorship at length over the past few weeks.
Fox News has had the highest ratings of all media outlets for many years. Their News’ Decision Desk is considered very authoritative and is highly respected among media and politics insiders. Twitter is giving credence to Fox News here and they are declaring them as verified and legitimate.
Previously, Twitter stated that they would require either an announcement from state election officials or a public projection from at least two authoritative, national news outlets that make independent calls about the race before letting tweets about the results go by unlabeled. The announcement today is an extension of that mandate and an update to its policies.
The difference now is that if one of the seven outlets tweets from their main handle a result before another outlet from the group of seven confirms it, Twitter won’t label that tweet. This also means that if a reporter, pundit, or any Twitter user tweets a result without citing one of the select outlets for its decision, that tweet may be labeled. Labels will also not be added to candidates’ tweets that directly cite tweets or information reported by these outlets.
Twitter said it will keep an eye on President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s accounts. In a blog post, the company said it’s “prioritizing” claims about the presidential election in an effort to weed out “misleading information.”
Twitter also said the accounts for candidates running for governor, the U.S. Senate, or the House of Representatives are eligible to have labels added to their tweets. U.S.-based accounts with more than 100,000 followers, as well as tweets that have “significant engagement” (25,000 “likes” or 25,000 quoted tweets or retweets) are also eligible to have labels slapped on them. These changes will be in place from Tuesday through Inauguration Day, Twitter stated.
“We believe this is the right thing to do to protect the integrity of the conversation around the election while counting is ongoing and before results are announced by state authorities,” Twitter said in its blog post.
The official Twitter label will state: “Official sources may not have called the race when this tweeted. Find out more.” That label will link to Twitter’s curated elections information hub.
This move by Twitter and other social media outlets is meant to contain a Trump announcement of victory in today’s elections if it appears he’s “ahead” in the polls and they decide the outcome is not yet determined. Twitter has a list of rules and protocols for handling what they claim are premature claims of victory on election night. Monday’s update comes after Twitter has already implemented a few changes in advance of Election Day, including altering how retweets work. Facebook has also made several changes, including barring political ads for one week after polls close on Tuesday night, as the company aims to block “premature victory” claims.
Social media companies have been under pressure to combat election-related misinformation and prepare for the possibility of violence or poll place intimidation around the 2020 election.