Deceptive Voting Information Shared on Social Media

electtion-collage It's almost here! Election day is tomorrow and if you haven't voted yet there is still time to cast your vote. This Election showed how much social media influences our nation from twitter wars to Youtube videos expressing individuals opinions. Per Pew Research Center about half (51%) of social networking users learned about the presidential election from these sites. But only about one-in-five social networking users (18%) actually share election-related information on social media.

Recently voters were deceived via social media that voters can cast their vote via text from your smartphone. This is not true, no states are allowed to vote via text. There are other scams as well via social media in regards to Election Day. To find out if you have been a victim to a scam call the Election Protection help line at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683). This help line is English only and led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Below is the official press release and a list of Election Protection helplines in other languages.

Don't forget to vote tomorrow everyone!!!

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 6, 2016)— Every voter is entitled to have their voice heard and vote counted. Unfortunately, some users of social media are spreading false information about voting. As such misinformation appears, social media companies must act swiftly to remove content designed to deceive or mislead voters on how to vote.

Recently, some Twitter users circulated what appeared to be official Hillary Clinton campaign advertisements that falsely claimed you can vote by text message. In fact, no state permits voting by text message. Ads like this are designed to deceive voters and have no place in our democracy. Social media platforms – including  Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Tumblr – must immediately remove content that deceives voters about how, where and when they can vote.

Twitter has set a good example for all social media companies by removing such content. We encourage other social media companies to moderate voting-related ad postings and quickly remove those designed to mislead voters or suppress voting, just as they do with other kinds of damaging content.

We encourage these platforms to help users vote and learn where they can turn if they have problems voting. The sites should actively promote all of the non-partisan voter helplines staffed by trained legal volunteers.

The helpline numbers are:

  • 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683), English only, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law;
  • 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682), bilingual English and Spanish,led by NALEO Educational Fund;
  • 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683), bilingual in English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog, led by APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice--AAJC; and
  • 844-418-1682 (#YallaVote), bilingual English & Arabic led by the Arab American Institute.

About Election Protection Election Protection is the nation's largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Through its suite of hotlines, including the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline (866-687-8683) administered by the Lawyers’ Committee, 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) administered by NALEO Educational Fund, 888-API-VOTE (888-273-8683) administered by APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC and a dedicated team of trained legal and grassroots volunteers, Election Protection helps all American voters, including traditionally disenfranchised groups, gain access to the polls and overcome obstacles to voting. The coalition has more than 100 partners—including Advancement Project, Asian American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Brennan Center for Justice, Common Cause, League of Women Voters of the United States, NAACP, National Bar Association, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Rock the Vote and Verified Voting Foundation—at the national, state and local levels and provides voter protection services nationwide. For more information about Election Protection and the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline, please visit www.866ourvote.org.

*Statement by Chris Melody Fields Figueredo, co-leader, Election Protection, and manager of legal mobilization and strategic campaigns, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, regarding deceptive voting information shared on social media.