Show an ad over header. AMP

Big Tech pushes voter initiatives to counter misinformation

Tech giants are going all in on civic engagement efforts ahead of November's election to help protect themselves in case they're charged with letting their platforms be used to suppress the vote.

Why it matters: During the pandemic, there's more confusion about the voting process than ever before. Big tech firms, under scrutiny for failing to stem misinformation around voting, want to have concrete efforts they can point to so they don't get blamed for letting an election be manipulated.


Driving the news: Google announced Thursday a number of new voting-related initiatives.

  • New Google Search features will direct people to verified information when they search for "how to vote" or "how to register."
  • Soon, when people search for federal or presidential candidates on YouTube, an information panel with candidate information will surface.
  • Google is also updating its political ads transparency report to include more information about paid ads on its platforms and meeting regularly with government agencies on threats.

Twitter said it plans to, within the next month, start rolling out tools, policies and partnerships to help users register and prepare to vote by mail as well as find local early voting options.

  • For instance, the company said it will likely expand its rules against content that undermines civic integrity to specifically address misinformation about mail-in voting and voter registration.
  • Twitter created a feature back in January that allows users to report voter suppression and misinformation.

Snapchat is rolling out a slew of new tools and features to help prepare young people to vote in the November election. The new "Voter Registration Mini" tool, for example, allows users to register to vote directly in Snapchat.

  • It's also posting a new "Voter Guide" that provides users with information about topics like voting by mail, ballot education and voter registration.

Facebook launched a voter information hub earlier this year to direct users to credible information about the election. CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook's goal is to help register 4 million people to vote.

  • It has begun labeling posts from presidential and congressional candidates about voting, regardless of whether they contain misinformation. The labels direct users to government resources with information about voting.

Be smart: These announcements come on the heels of a major social media ad boycott, mostly aimed at Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, in which civil rights groups argued that voter suppression was one of their big demands. 

Yes, but: Encouraging people digitally to take part in the democratic process won't stop people from abusing platforms to subvert that process in other ways.

Go deeper:

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Cory Gardner on vacant Supreme Court seat: "I will vote to confirm"

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The development is a win for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It should mean Republicans are all but assured to have enough support to hold hearings for Trump's potential nominee.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump and Xi to give dueling speeches Tuesday at UN General Assembly

President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping will address the UN General Assembly just minutes apart on Tuesday morning — with Russia’s Vladimir Putin following soon thereafter.

The big picture: Trump has promised a “strong message on China.” Xi, meanwhile, is expected to laud global cooperation — with the clear implication that it can be led from Beijing.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump meets with Supreme Court frontrunner Amy Coney Barrett

President Trump met with Judge Amy Coney Barrett Monday afternoon at the White House, days before he is set to announce his pick to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, two sources familiar with meeting tell Axios.

Between the lines: Barrett, a U.S. circuit court judge who has long been seen within Trumpworld as the frontrunner on the president's short list, is known widely within the White House and well-liked.

Keep reading... Show less

Federal judge extends deadline for Wisconsin ballots postmarked by Election Day

A federal judge in Wisconsin on Monday extended the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots until up to six days after the Nov. 3 election if they are postmarked by Election Day, AP reports.

Why it matters: The ruling, unless overturned, "means that the outcome of the presidential race in Wisconsin likely will not be known for days after polls close," according to AP.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump's Supreme Court plans create major opportunity for Kamala Harris to go on offense

President Trump's Supreme Court plans have created a major opportunity for Sen. Kamala Harris to go on offense.

Why it matters: A confirmation fight puts Harris back in the spotlight thanks to her role on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Keep reading... Show less

McConnell: Senate has "more than sufficient time" to process Supreme Court nomination

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a floor speech Monday that the chamber has "more than sufficient time" to confirm a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election, and accused Democrats of preparing "an even more appalling sequel" to the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Why it matters: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said "nothing is off the table next year" if Republicans push ahead with the confirmation vote before November, vowing alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to use "every procedural tool available to us to ensure that we buy ourselves the time necessary."

Keep reading... Show less

House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11

House Democrats on Monday released their proposal for short-term legislation to fund the government through December 11.

Why it matters: This is Congress' chief legislative focus before the election. They must pass a continuing resolution (CR) before midnight on Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown — something both Hill leaders and the White House have claimed is off the table.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories