Social Media Platforms Shift Stances on Political Content Ahead of Key Elections

Social Media Platforms Shift Stances on Political Content Ahead of Key Elections

Social media giants are taking different approaches to political discussions and news coverage as major votes near, which could impact outcomes.

As worldwide elections approach in 2022 and 2023, leading social platforms Facebook, Twitter and TikTok are each adjusting their policies around political content and debate. These changes come as online discussions have increasingly influenced offline votes, yet also led to accusations of spreading misinformation.

Facebook owner Meta continues distancing itself from news following past scandals. The company recently ended its Facebook News tab and partnerships with publishers, reducing professional news to under 3% of feeds. Meta says this follows user feedback disliking divisive political posts and is meant to emphasize entertainment. Critics argue less political information could hurt voter awareness.

Meanwhile, new Twitter owner Elon Musk positions the site as a free speech champion welcoming all opinions. Musk himself regularly weighs into heated issues, potentially swaying millions of followers. While open debate is important, experts warn Twitter now risks amplifying misleading claims without checks. Its community-led fact-checking through Notes also seems ineffective at reaching consensus on complex topics.

TikTok walks a fine line as a Chinese-owned app. It does not want to be seen influencing elections but must also avoid censoring discussions. Like Facebook, TikTok utilizes algorithmic recommendations over targeted political ads or news articles. However, viral videos can still spread partisan narratives.

All three platforms face difficult choices in moderating political debates that move offline. A hands-off approach may suit business interests by avoiding accusations of bias, but risks real-world consequences if certain narratives or candidates gain undeserved traction. More active fact-checking and labeling comes with its own critique of censorship.

For voters and campaigns, navigating the political landscape on social media will remain a challenge. With each major platform shifting its approach, misleading or exaggerated claims may find new homes online. Those looking to make informed decisions at the ballot box will need to get input from a variety of credible SMM panel sources.

Great SMM offers social media management and other digital services to help businesses and organizations navigate these complex issues. Our SMM panel can provide insight into platform policies and build strategies that align with your organizational values. By gaining a deeper understanding of the online political environment, we help clients make the most of social opportunities while mitigating risks. Contact us today to learn more.