US election: Twitter tightens rules on retweets and victory claims

2020/10/12 15:06

Today's Vocabulary

1. incited (v) 
to encourage someone to do or feel something unpleasant or violent 

2. interference (n)
an occasion when someone tries to interfere in a situation

3. benchmark (n) 
a level of quality  that can be used as a standard when comparing other things


4. claim (v)
to say that something is true or is a fact, although you cannot prove it and other people might not believe it

5. prematurely (adv)
in a way that happens or is done too soon, especially before the natural or suitable time

6. scrutiny (n)
the careful and detailed examination of something in order to get information about it

US election: Twitter tightens rules on retweets and victory claims

Twitter has said it will not allow any of its users – including candidates – to claim victory prematurely in the forthcoming US election. It said any tweets claiming victory before a clear projection would have a warning label added.

The move follows a similar decision from Facebook last month. Twitter will also temporarily change the way retweets work – prompting users to “quote tweet” and add their own thoughts before spreading a message.

That change is planned to happen on 20 October, “until at least the end of election week”.

On top of its ban on “premature” claims of victory, Twitter said it would also remove any tweets that incited interference with election results, “such as through violent action”. The benchmark for when Twitter users can claim a result will be either an announcement from state election officials or the projection of two “authoritative”, independent national news outlets.

Tweets that falsely claim a win will not only be labelled but also direct users to the platform’s official US election page. Both Twitter and Facebook are under intense scrutiny in the run-up to the election, and have announced revised policies to deal with misinformation on their platforms.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has publicly addressed the problem, writing: “With our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or even weeks to be finalised, there could be an increased risk of civil unrest across the country.”

As well as warning users over results, Twitter announced a handful of extra election-related measures on Friday. Tweets from major accounts – such as US politicians or US-based accounts with more than 100,000 followers – will also only have the option to “quote tweet” on labelled tweets. And the social network said it wouldn’t recommend such tweets to new people through its algorithms.


  1. Do you feel like you are doing something really important when you vote?
  2. What do you think of the way people vote in other countries?
  3. Does having a choice of just two candidates for president mean your country is democratic?

“The people who cast the votes don't decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”

Joseph Stalin