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Twitter on Sunday flagged election-related misinformation from President Trump as violating platform rules, while Facebook took a softer approach.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of the stark contrast in how the two sites handle controversial posts from the president. The pressure on both companies is likely only to intensify as the presidential election draws closer.

Details: On Sunday, President Trump tweeted that ballot drop boxes are a "voter security disaster," claiming without evidence that they would pose a COVID-19 risk and "make it possible for a person to vote multiple times."

  • Twitter obscured the tweet from direct view, only letting users see it after they click through a warning message that the tweet "violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity" but that it may be in the public interest for it to stay online.
  • Facebook merely pointed people to its voting information center. The company started doing the same last month for all posts, true or false, from federally elected officials that mention voting in any way.

The big picture: Twitter has now taken similar action against a number of other Trump tweets, while Facebook has been much more lenient.

What they're saying: Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, praised Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for the company's action. "Drop boxes are a SAFE and SECURE method for voters to return their ballots in states where available," Clarke said in a tweet.

Between the lines: Criticism from both sides of the political aisle means that social networks are going to take heat no matter what they decide.

  • Critics on the right argue that any labeling of Trump's posts indicates political bias.
  • Those on the left say that by not banning or more aggressively labeling falsehoods, social networks are becoming weapons of misinformation.

Go deeper

More than 20,000 users submit cases to Facebook oversight board

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

More than 20,000 people have submitted cases to Facebook's independent Oversight Board since the board started accepting user appeals in October, the organization announced Monday, and it has selected six initial cases for review.

Why it matters: The number of submissions speaks to the multitude of people who feel the platform's moderation of their content has wronged them. The tiny number of cases getting reviewed speaks to the limits of human oversight on a platform the size of Facebook, as well as to the novelty of the board's process and the complex nature of the cases chosen.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Virginia attorney general fires Jan. 6 investigator from university post

McIntire Amphitheater at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has been fired from his position as the University of Virginia's counsel by the state's new Republican attorney general, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Democrats say the removal of Tim Heaphy from his post after some three years while he's on leave from the university to investigate the insurrection is likely "retribution" for the House probe — an accusation strongly denied by the office of state Attorney General Jason Miyares (R).

5 hours ago - World

Taiwan's military scrambles jets after detecting 39 Chinese warplanes

J-20 stealth fighter jets in Zhuhai in the Guangdong Province of China last year. Photo: Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images

Taiwan's defense force said 39 Chinese warplanes flew into its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Sunday.

Why it matters: The largest Chinese air force incursion into the zone since October came a day after the U.S. and Japanese navies conducted a joint exercise in the Philippine Sea.