For much of Wednesday, Facebook and Instagram have been displaying a notice at the top of their apps reminding US users that the winner of the 2020 election has yet to be decided (via TechCrunch). “Votes are being counted,” the message declares, with a link to Facebook’s elections update page at the bottom of the notification. The notice also includes a timestamp indicating how recently it was updated by Facebook.
NEW: Facebook spokesperson just now:— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) November 4, 2020
“Once President Trump began making premature claims of victory, we started running top-of-feed notifications on Facebook and Instagram so that everyone knows votes are still being counted and the winner has not been projected.” pic.twitter.com/t6xHvgGdow
A Facebook spokesperson told NBC News the company started issuing the notice shortly after President Trump took to Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday morning to prematurely declare victory in the election. Then as now, election officials in multiple states had yet to count all the votes in their counties. Twitter flagged the message first. It also restricted users from retweeting the message — though it’s still possible to share it using the Quote Tweet feature. Facebook was slower to label President Trump’s post, and did so using more vague wording.
Trump’s message was one of the first major tests of Facebook and Twitter’s recently implemented election policies. Leading into Tuesday evening, both companies said they would not allow either candidate to claim victory before state election officials and national news outlets declared an official winner.