Avaaz: Facebook continues to fail at flagging false and misleading posts about U.S. elections

Facebook continues to fail to spot and flag false and misleading posts about elections, according to a new report published by Avaaz. The U.S.-based nonprofit found in an analysis of a cross-section of Georgia-related election misinformation on Facebook that 60% of detected false and misleading posts reached thousands of voters without fact check labels.

The report comes as investigations suggest that Facebook is failing to stem the spread of misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech on its platform. In January, Seattle University associate professor Caitlin Carlson published results from an experiment in which she and a colleague collected more than 300 posts that appeared to violate Facebook’s hate speech rules. (Only about half of the posts were ultimately removed.) Separately, according to The Washington Post and others, allies of President Donald Trump have received few penalties under Facebook’s rules. Former employees told the publication that Trump-aligned accounts have been protected against

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False claims about media’s 2016, 2020 election coverage

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Dr. Anthony Fauci compared the transition of power to a relay race when describing its importance.

USA TODAY

The claim: The media said ‘Russia stole the election’ in 2016 and now says the 2020 election is ‘impossible to steal’

As President Donald Trump’s election challenges fail and he begrudgingly begins to accommodate a transition of power, he is looking at the 2016 election to draw false comparisons and point fingers at journalists he says never accepted his victory. His supporters aren’t far behind, offering up a meme suggesting hypocrisy in media coverage of the 2016 and 2020 elections.

“2016 MEDIA: RUSSIA STOLE THE ELECTION,” reads a meme ForAmerica posted to Facebook Nov. 12. “2020 MEDIA: OUR ELECTIONS ARE LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO STEAL.”

The meme includes two images of CNN anchor Don Lemon and makes a blanket statement about “the media.”

Fact check: Claim that voting noncitizens affected 2020 election

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False claim that voting software companies have closed

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President-elect Joe Biden is denouncing President Donald Trump as the “most irresponsible president in American history.” Biden warned that “incredibly damaging messages are being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions.” (Nov. 19)

AP Domestic

The claim: Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic have closed and their executives are on the run

In the weeks since the election, numerous false claims have cropped up about Dominion Voting Systems, a company that sells electronic voting software used to help conduct elections across the United States.

Some users claimed that the company’s machines deleted and switched votes cast for President Donald Trump. USA TODAY debunked that.

Others claimed links between the company and Democrats, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Diane Feinstein. USA TODAY found those claims to be misleading, too.

Smartmatic, another company that makes electronic voting software, has also been the subject of post-election misinformation

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Misinformation about election fraud has flooded the internet. Here’s how to spot false reports

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Election security experts warned for months that misinformation would ramp up after election day to cast doubt on the vote with falsehoods.


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This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the voting in November and its aftermath.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has beaten President Donald Trump in a contest punctuated with wild rumors, false reports and premature declarations of victory. The end of the election, however, hasn’t meant an end to the misinformation.

Social media posts from the sitting president that falsely claim the election was stolen from him have swept through the internet, and Trump has continued to tweet and retweet items that contain disputed information, which Twitter has labeled. Additionally, baseless claims of election fraud from a variety of sources have also swept Twitter, as well as YouTube and Facebook. 

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