Ads circulating on Twitter are misleading voters that they can vote by sending a text message. Even though there is no such thing as voting by text message, the fake ads show a number to text and cast your vote that way. Of course, that’s an impossibility. The only way you can vote is by going to an actual polling station. Also, you have the possibility of casting an absentee ballot. But voting via text message is not an option.
However, the ads on Twitter urged voters to do just that. The ads were aimed at Clinton supporters and told them they can vote for the Democratic candidate by simply texting “Hillary”.
The Fake Ads Target Clinton Supporters
The Twitter ads used imagery from campaign materials belonging to Hillary Clinton. They encouraged Clinton supporters to “vote early” or even to “vote from home”.
“Save time. Avoid the line,”
says one ad.
“Vote early. Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925,”
says another ad.
This week at least four different ads urging Clinton supporters to vote via text message circulated on social networks. The ads look as if they belong to the Hillary Clinton campaign and to a less informed voter could be plausible. The result of these ads would be to suppress the Clinton vote this November 8. The Clinton supporters that these ads target would text and not got to the polling station on Election Day.
The ads use the “H” logo from the Clinton campaign. Also, they say that they were “paid for by Hillary for President”. One ad features a black woman holding up a sign that says “African Americans for Hillary”. The message of the ad is “Avoid the line. Vote from home.”. Another ad features a Hispanic woman and is entirely in Spanish. The message is to save time and avoid lines. The ad explicitly says that you can vote from home or from work. Also, it has a quote from Hillary Clinton translated into Spanish encouraging women to vote and make history. These two ads specifically target minority voters, an important resource for the Hillary Clinton campaign. The Democratic nominee is hoping to get out the African American vote and the Hispanic vote this election.
The Fake Ads Are Still Circulating on Twitter
The ads gained traction on the internet after a Twitter user with just 11,000 followers tweeted them together with the hashtag #ImWithHer. The Twitter had previously posted about conspiracy theories as well as racial and homophobic slurs. Also, he would regularly link to polls that were in the favor of the Republican candidate Donald J. Trump.
At first Twitter moderators said that the ads do not violate Twitter’s terms of service. But other Twitter users flagged the posts. Eventually, Twitter removed the fake ads and CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that the problem had been fixed.
Some of the Twitter accounts that had helped circulate the ads were suspended by Thursday morning. But other accounts were still posting the fake ads.
Texting “Hillary” to the five digit number would get you the following message:
“The ad you saw was not approved by iVisionMobile OR Hillary For America in any way. To opt-in to the real HFA list, text HFA to 47246. Reply STOP to cancel.”
Image source: here.