Facebook and Twitter are reviewing and taking down posts that spread disinformation about how and when to vote on Election Day.
A senior official from the National Association of State Elections Directors told reporters Tuesday that the group flagged election disinformation to both social media companies.
Ahead of last year’s midterm elections, Facebook and Twitter declared such posts against their policies and created methods for states to flag election-related misinformation for removal.
“I have (reported disinformation) today and over the last couple days. We’ve seen a couple things on Twitter. We’ve seen a couple of things on Facebook,” the official said.
“I’ve seen one that was ‘It’s raining, so Election Day has moved to Wednesday,’ ” the official added said. “I saw one from a county in a state that voting machines in a precinct were not functioning and that the lines were super long, which we knew was misinformation because that particular county uses vote centers and therefore doesn’t have precincts.”
The official declined to name specific states.
A Facebook representative told CNN the company has been taking down posts that violated its policy over the past few days. A Twitter representative declined to confirm that it was taking down posts, but did confirm that was part of its policy.
Jared Dearing, executive director of Kentucky’s Board of Elections, confirmed to CNN that he’d turned over potential voter disenfranchisement posts to social media companies this election.
The nonprofit Common Cause found at least 18 Twitter users that had tweeted some variant of the idea that while one party votes on Tuesday, the other votes on Wednesday, and the group flagged them to Twitter. As of this writing, eight had been removed.
The posts appear to be individuals either joking or trolling, rather than a coordinated effort. In a call with reporters Tuesday, a senior Department of Homeland Security official said of coordinated disinformation campaigns, “We’re not aware of anything acute, specific to today, in today’s election, but I think (the FBI) and we have been consistent in saying ongoing social media disinformation campaigns remain a top priority for us.”
The FBI didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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