Facebook has announced it will remove a video of President Donald Trump suggesting North Carolina residents vote twice in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, the company citing its policies against voter fraud. The president made the remarks during a recent campaign rally, encouraging residents to vote once by mail and once in person to test the integrity of mail-in ballots.
Those comments have sparked widespread condemnation, with Facebook moving to take action. In a statement to Axios, Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said the video "violates our policies prohibiting voter fraud." The company also vowed to "remove it unless it is shared to correct the record," meaning that the video's removal will only occur if it is shared without any context or if it expresses support for Trump's remarks. Politico reports that Facebook has not yet identified any such videos.
Twitter, meanwhile, is taking similar action, announcing it will add public notice labels to the president's Thursday tweets, in which he attempted to clarify his remarks, "for encouraging people to potentially vote twice," which is in violation of its rules. Twitter will not, however, remove the posts, though it will restrict people from interacting with the tweet by restricting likes, replies, and retweets. The company explained, "to protect people on Twitter, we err on the side of limiting the circulation of Tweets which advise people to take actions which could be illegal in the context of voting or result in the invalidation of their votes."
The president's comments have been met with a wave of criticism, as voting more than once in all 50 states is illegal. In North Carolina, where Trump suggested residents do just that, voting twice amounts to a Class I felony offense. Amid the misinformation, Karen Brinson Bell, the executive director of the North Carolina board of elections, released a statement reminding local voters that "it is illegal to vote twice in an election." That statement added that "soliciting someone" to vote more than once in an election "also is a violation of North Carolina law."
Those in the Trump administration, meanwhile, have attempted to downplay the comments, which follow months of remarks from the president criticizing mail-in voting, which he has claimed, without proof, will lead to widespread voter fraud. Speaking with Fox News, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, said that Trump "is not suggesting anyone do anything unlawful," but was rather encouraging voters to "make sure your vote is tabulated, and if it is not, then vote."