By AnneClaire Stapleton
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — No, you cannot vote in the US presidential election by text message.
Period. Voting by text, even for state and local races, is not a real thing.
But that hasn’t stopped fake ads, encouraging Hillary Clinton supporters to “Save time. Avoid the lines. Vote from home,” from making the rounds on social media.
“Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925 and we’ll make history together,” reads one, which has a “Paid for by Hillary for President” stamp at the bottom.
At first glance, the ads look legitimate. Various versions target Hispanic and African American voters, who are historically more likely to vote Democratic.
Twitter has suspended some of the accounts associated with the ads, a company spokesman told CNN.
One Twitter user flagged the issue to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who responded that the company has “fixed” the problem.
Twitter’s Government & Elections team also sent out a reminder to its 2.3 million followers, saying, “Remember: you cannot vote via text or Tweet.”
While some fake ads urging people to text votes for Donald Trump have circulated, the vast majority appear to target Clinton supporters.
The deceptive ads drew a sharp rebuke from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
“Every voter is entitled to have their voice heard and vote counted. Unfortunately, some users of social media are spreading false information about voting,” said the committee’s Chris Melody Fields Figueredo in a statement.
“Twitter has set a good example for all social media companies by removing such content. We encourage other social media companies to moderate voting-related ad postings and quickly remove those designed to mislead voters or suppress voting, just as they do with other
kinds of damaging content,” Figueredo added.
“We encourage these platforms to help users vote and learn where they can turn if they have problems voting. The sites should actively promote all of the non-partisan voter helplines staffed by trained legal volunteers.”
As CNN has noted, fake news is rampant in this election. Triple check before you share.
For voting and election questions, always check with your local precinct or state election commission. Social media, however, is not your best bet.
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