It’s still early on Election Day, but the internet’s misinformation peddlers are already hard at work.
As millions of voters head to the polls, social media posts with false or misleading claims began to emerge early Tuesday morning from battleground states, including Pennsylvania and Michigan. Many of these claims followed the familiar misinformation narratives we’ve come to expect on Election Day: viral videos of broken voting machines, allegations of fishy polling place behavior and fake or exaggerated claims of attempted voter suppression.
In Philadelphia, election officials debunked a misleading claim from a Twitter user who posted a photo of a sign promoting Democrats at a polling station. The original, misleading tweet, which came from a reporter at the right-wing website Newsmax, was shared more than 7,000 times.
Several viral tweets have also spread unconfirmed rumors of excessively long lines at polling places in Republican districts, broken voting machines in Republican-leaning precincts or other attempts to suppress votes for President Trump. Many of these posts were hashtagged #StopTheSteal.
Not all misinformation was sent online. In Michigan, the state’s attorney general, Dana Nessel, wrote on Twitter that she had received reports of robocalls made to Flint residents with inaccurate information about when they should vote.