LONDON : Facebook Inc flagged some of President Donald Trump's posts on the U.S. election as votes were still being counted, in a real-time test of their rules on handling misinformation and premature claims of victory.

But even as the companies moved to label posts by the president, his false claims of victory and unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud triggered online furore and misinformation.

Social media companies have been under fierce scrutiny over how they police rapidly spreading false information and election related abuses of their platforms. In the weeks before Tuesday's vote, both vowed action on posts by candidates trying to declare early victory.

Twitter also applied labels to posts by Democrat and Republican officials in the battleground states of Wisconsin and Florida, warning users that the information may be contested or inaccurate.

Early on Wednesday, Twitter hid a Trump tweet that claimed ''we are up BIG, but they are trying to steal the Election ''behind'' a label that said it was potentially misleading. The company also restricted the users ability to share the post.

Facebook added a label to the same post, which had about 18,000 shares, that said ''final results may be different from initial vote counts as ballot counting will continue for days or weeks.''

A spokeswoman for Facebook said it was not restricting the reach or sharing of labeled content. She also said it would not flag premature claims of state wins, only of the final result of the presidential race.

Twitter did not label a separate post, in which Trump declared ''A big WIN!,'' to which Facebook added a notice that said votes were still being counted. 

Facebook said that following Trump's premature claims of victory it had started running top-of-feed notifications on Facebook and its photo-sharing site Instagram telling users that votes were still being counted and no winner had been projected.

It said automatic labels were also being applied to both candidates posts with this information. [Reuters]


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