The key state of Pennsylvania has become a hotspot for misinformation during the 2020 United States presidential election.
Prominent claims on social media have alleged instances of “illegal electioneering” with a perceived disadvantage to the Republicans and Donald Trump.
Users shared the hashtag #StopTheSteal as part of an unfounded claim that Democrats were fraudulently trying to steal the election.
Twitter has labelled a number of these posts as “disputed” and potentially misleading, such as from an account identifying itself as the Philadelphia Republican Party.
The President’s son, Donald Trump Jr. also tweeted that “the Steal Is On”, adding to the spread of the claims.
“Our teams are monitoring the hashtag #StopTheSteal and related tweets, and if they find violations of the Twitter Rules, they will take enforcement action accordingly,” a Twitter spokesperson told Euronews.
The company also said that they will take action to protect public conversation if a hashtag is deliberately undermined in a coordinated fashion, such as through fake or automated accounts.
On Tuesday, Donald Trump himself had criticised a Supreme Court decision, falsely suggesting that the counting of ballots in Pennsylvania would “allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws.”
Twitter also labeled that tweet as “disputed,” and there have been no substantiated reports of voter suppression or mistreatment.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has rejected claims that a sign for Joe Biden was located near a polling location.
“Members of our Election Task Force have investigated this allegation,” the District Attorney’s office tweeted.
“This polling place is located in an interior room and the sign in question is further than 10 feet from it. This tweet is deliberately deceptive.”
An account for Allegheny County has also responded to false claims that election officials were blocking observation of absentee ballot processing.
“No one is being blocked from anything and no one has reported anything or raised any concerns at the site,” Allegheny County said on Twitter.
Analysts have suggested that the 20 electoral college votes in Pennsylvania will be crucial in deciding the election result.
But with many US citizens casting their votes early via mail-in ballots, officials are also warning that it could be several days until the result of Pennsylvania – and other crucial states – is known.
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