June 22, 2023

Author: Nicolas Hénin, EU DisinfoLab (V1) & EU DisinfoLab (V2)

Reviewer: Rasto Kuzel, MEMO 98


  • The present factsheet delves into platform policies on election misinformation, focusing on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and X. All these platforms have been qualified as Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) by the European Union Digital Services Act. Therefore, they must comply with particularly stringent regulations and justify the means they deploy to combat false and misleading information. Moreover, as the 2024 election super year unfolds, these platforms will be particularly scrutinised.
  • Although with different degrees of concern, all the platforms discussed here have identified electoral misinformation’s potential for harm: reduction of trust in democratic institutions, not accepting the outcome of the vote, voter suppression, calls for violence or even the overthrow of the institutions, etc.
  • As is often the case when investigating topic-specific misinformation, this document is hampered by the fact that election-related policies are sometimes confused with general policies to combat misinformation. However, this factsheet attempts to focus as much as possible on electoral misinformation and the policies against it.
  • The paper summarises the state of the art at the time of writing and shows how five of the largest online platforms have addressed electoral misinformation. It presents the definitions of prohibited organic or advertising content, the actors involved and detection criteria. To address platform’s responses to the threats posed by Artificial Intelligence – including in electoral misinformation – we compiled another factsheet on platforms’ policies on AI-manipulated and generated misinformation.

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This page has been updated on 3 June 2024 with the version 2 of the factsheet. You can find the version 1, published on 22 June 2023, here (pdf).