Facebook and TikTok have banned hashtags that were being used to spread misinformation and conspiracy theories about the US presidential election.
The generally banned hashtags revolved around unfounded allegations that Democrats were trying to rig the elections to defeat the president (Donald Trump).
On Facebook, banned hashtags included the hashtag #StoptheSteal, which was widely used to spread allegations that Democrats defrauded the elections, as well as the hashtag #sharpiegate, which erroneously claimed that Sharpie pens were used to deny Trump votes in his state. Arizona.
TikTok banned the hashtag #sharpiegate, #stopthesteal, and #riggedelection. TechCrunch was the first to monitor the ban of hashtags from Facebook and TikTok.
While Twitter does not appear to have banned any electoral conspiracy hashtags, it has added warning signs to some of the tweets, saying that they may contain inaccurate information. He also tagged other tweets with a message encouraging readers to learn more about the election security efforts.
Restricting these hashtags focused on conspiracy theory is part of a broader effort by social platforms this week to quickly stamp out election misinformation. Twitter has flagged Trump’s tweets making unsubstantiated allegations of fraud or misrepresenting how the total votes are calculated.
Facebook added a similar warning sign, and earlier today, the site shut down a group called Stop the Steal from more than 300,000 members, for including allegations of fraud without supporting evidence. Facebook also said: “It has seen disturbing calls for violence from members of the group.”
The TikTok service said: The ban on these tags was part of “natural restriction and its approach to disinformation / hate speech, and other content that violates our guidelines.” A spokesperson for the service told The Verge: The hashtags were removed yesterday. Because “the content contained in these hashtags often violates the misinformation policy.”