Fact Check: Facebook Did NOT Prevent Users From Sharing A Map From A Presidential Election

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Facebook Did NOT Prevent Users From Sharing A Map From A Presidential Election Old Map

Did Facebook prevent users from posting a photo of an electoral map from a presidential election? No, that's not true: Facebook officials say the company is not prohibiting users from posting this image.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) where it was published on November 9, 2020 with the caption "No lie they took mine down too 😂." The text included in the photo read:

I have tried to share this 3 times and Facebook won't let me... if anybody can see this pls comment

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Nov 11 21:59:51 2020 UTC)

"We're not prohibiting people from posting this content," said Andy Stone, the policy communications director at Facebook.

The map was not labeled and when Facebook users posted this photo in the days following November 3, 2020, presidential election, it could well have been taken as a nationwide county-by-county map of that vote. But the map appears to be from four years ago, a 2016 nationwide U.S. presidential county map published by Wikimedia Commons.

As of this writing, many people commented on the post that they could see the map, meaning Facebook was not preventing it from being posted. The user who posted it may have had issues posting the photo the first couple times for unknown reasons, but he clearly had success in posting the photo eventually, as this is a fact check of a Facebook post that includes the photo.

Screen Shot 2020-11-12 at 12.49.50 PM.png

(Editors' Note: Facebook is a client of Lead Stories, which is a third-party fact checker for the social media platform. On our About page, you will find the following information:

Since February 2019 we are actively part of Facebook's partnership with third party fact checkers. Under the terms of this partnership we get access to listings of content that has been flagged as potentially false by Facebook's systems or its users and we can decide independently if we want to fact check it or not. In addition to this we can enter our fact checks into a tool provided by Facebook and Facebook then uses our data to help slow down the spread of false information on its platform. Facebook pays us to perform this service for them but they have no say or influence over what we fact check or what our conclusions are, nor do they want to.)

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