Facebook to continue labeling candidates' posts declaring premature statewide victories

Facebook previously said it planned to 'address premature calls for the final result of the presidential race'

Facebook on Wednesday clarified that it will label posts from both 2020 presidential candidates and "other individuals" claiming statewide victories before winners are announced as battleground state results tighten.

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The social media giant previously told The Wall Street Journal that its policies for labeling candidates' posts claiming premature victories were only meant to apply to an overall victory rather than individual state victories, but the company later clarified that statement.

"We are continuing to label all posts from both presidential candidates making it clear that votes are still being counted and a winner has not been projected. We are also applying these labels to other individuals who declare premature victory in individual states or overall," Facebook tweeted.

Facebook told the Journal in a Tuesday statement that Facebook’s plan was "to address premature calls for the final result of the presidential race," adding that for other posts, the platform would be "applying labels directing people to them in the Voting Information Center where they can see what races have been called."

Forbes also reported that Facebook would not flag posts from candidates declaring victories in battleground states on the platform, before the social media company clarified its position.

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Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory and former chief security officer at Facebook, told the Journal that "a policy that doesn't apply to individual states is not very useful in a contest that might come down to one state."

Facebook did not immediately respond to an inquiry from FOX Business about the change, but the Journal reported that Facebook clarified its position after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made an early declaration claiming President Trump the winner in Florida.

Facebook Trump label screenshot (FBN)

The clarification comes as both social media companies work to combat election misinformation and premature victory claims from both the Trump and Biden campaigns as votes continue to be counted after Election Day.

ZUCKERBERG: FACEBOOK WILL RESTRICT LESS CONTENT AFTER US ELECTIONS

Twitter has labeled or hidden five of Trump's tweets claiming victories since Nov. 3, directing users to more information about official election results that national news outlets have declared. Facebook has applied a number of different labels to all posts from the president and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

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FBFACEBOOK INC.277.81+2.22+0.81%
TWTRTWITTER INC.46.59+0.16+0.34%

Election results on Facebook will be considered official once the national Election Pool/Edison via Reuters, as well as the Associated Press and "six independent decision desks at major media outlets," call the votes, Facebook Policy Communications Director Andy Stone said in a tweet.

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Some Republican lawmakers have criticized Facebook and Twitter for "censoring" posts from conservative users, although both tech companies have said they apply their policies without regard to political beliefs. During an Oct. 28 hearing on censorship just days before the 2020 election, senators pushed the two companies to answer for their decisions to temporarily reduce distribution of a New York Post story.

Facebook and Twitter announced that they would be labeling tweets and posts in the days before Election Day.

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