NEWS

Download the Election Deception Tracker: A New Tool to Fight Online Misinformation

Alec Saslow | September 21, 2020

CONTACT: Info@MapLight.org

MapLight reveals the influence of money in politics and fights online political deception. Click here to sign up for our email updates to join the fight against online misinformation ahead of the 2020 election. 

The Election Deception Tracker from MapLight allows anyone to quickly and easily report deceptive or problematic election-related information on Facebook to help protect the election and reduce the spread of false information online. 

With only a few clicks, the Election Deception Tracker allows users to capture content from their Facebook feeds that contains false or misleading content about the election, voting-by-mail, and other voter suppression or intimidation and send it to a team of election protection advocates who will analyze the information and push for its removal.

The Election Deception Tracker works on Windows or Mac computers with both the Chrome or Firefox browsers. By joining a collective effort to track and report the spread of deceptive election content on Facebook, Election Deception Tracker users can take a powerful stand to protect the upcoming election while countering the spread of misinformation online.

Click here to get the tracker for Chrome.

Click here to get the tracker for Firefox.

 

Text-to-Report: (662) 667-1234

In addition to the Election Deception Tracker, MapLight’s Text-to-Report service allows users to counter the spread of misinformation by sending text or picture messages of misleading or deceptive election-related information seen in-person, or anywhere online, via text message. Users simply text a picture or description of false or misleading information, such as from flyers, mailers, or online content, to (662) 667-1234. Information submitted via Text-to-Report will be flagged for MapLight’s research team and election protection allies to stop deceptive information from spreading further.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Election Deception Tracker work?

The Election Deception Tracker allows you to quickly and easily capture any content from your Facebook feed you believe contains false, misleading, or problematic election-related information — such as outright falsehoods about candidates or the election, misleading information about how to participate, fake accounts that misrepresent their affiliation, efforts at voter suppression or intimidation, or inaccurate information about vote-by-mail. 

Simply install the Election Deception Tracker on your Chrome or Firefox web browser for free from the Chrome or Firefox app store. Once installed, right click on a post title on Facebook, scroll down to "send to Election Deception Tracker," and follow the prompts. 

The information will be sent to a MapLight database, where our team of researchers and election protection advocates will analyze the content, publicize the existence of problematic information to pressure Facebook to improve its screening, and push for removal of organized efforts to spread false or misleading information by contacting executives at Facebook.

Why should I participate?

The rampant spread of false and misleading information online presents one of the greatest threats to our democracy today. Irresponsible practices from big technology companies like Facebook and a lack of government regulation have combined to amplify misinformation, drive Americans apart, and reduce trust in our democracy. By helping to track false and misleading election-related content on Facebook, you can help protect the 2020 election while joining the effort to make Facebook more transparent and accountable.

What type of content should I report?

Please report any content on Facebook you believe contains false or misleading information related to the 2020 election. This includes both paid ads and organic (unpaid) posts from individuals, groups, and pages. We are particularly interested in organized, institutional efforts that intentionally mislead people about candidates or the election, misleading information about how to participate, fake accounts that misrepresent their affiliation, and attempts at voter suppression or intimidation.

How can I report misleading or deceptive content I find that’s not on Facebook?

Use MapLight’s Text-to-Report service to easily report deceptive or misleading election-related content you see either in-person (such as on a flyer, bulletin, or mailer) or on other websites. Simply text a picture or description of the information to (662) 667-1234 and the information will be entered in our database and flagged for election protection advocates.

What happens to the information after it’s been reported?

Content captured from the Election Deception Tracker is directed to a MapLight database where our research team and election protection allies can analyze and categorize information so that it can be flagged at high levels at Facebook for removal, if it violates the company’s terms of service, or publicized to pressure Facebook to improve its efforts remove deceptive content. Since Facebook’s current policies are wholly insufficient to stop the spread of misinformation, the database will also serve to highlight the need for Congress to pass laws to better regulate social media and technology companies like Facebook to protect our elections and limit the spread of misinformation online.

How do I install and use the Election Deception Tracker?

For Chrome web browser users, click the Election Deception Tracker in the Chrome web store and select “Add to Chrome.” For Firefox web browser users, click the Election Deception Tracker in the Firefox extension store and select “Add to Firefox.” Once installed, right click on a post title on Facebook, scroll down to "send to MapLight," and follow the prompts to help us properly categorize the information.

Can I use the Election Deception Tracker on other social media platforms?

The Election Deception Tracker is currently available for use on Facebook only. To report information outside of Facebook, use MapLight’s Text-to-Report service by sending a text or picture message of deceptive or misleading content to (662) 667-1234.

Can I use the Election Deception Tracker to report information seen in the Facebook mobile app on my phone?

The Election Deception Tracker works only on Windows and Mac computers, not phones or tablets. Instead, use MapLight’s Text-to-Report service by sending a screenshot (picture) of deceptive or misleading content to (662) 667-1234.

What information is recorded in the Election Deception Tracker database?

Our database includes the date, time, and type of reported posts; any link within the post and URL of the post itself; the content of the post and any additional comments you submit; and your physical location and IP address. We do not collect personally identifiable information such as your name or Facebook username, pictures, or Facebook comments.

What is MapLight? 

MapLight is a nonprofit organization that reveals the influence of money in politics and fights online political deception. Click here to sign up for our email updates to join the fight against online misinformation ahead of the 2020 election.

Who can I contact about other questions?

Please email info@MapLight.org with questions or feedback.

Click here for more information on the terms of use and privacy policy for the Election Deception Tracker.

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