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Watch out for fake AP election results circulating on Twitter

Several Twitter accounts purporting to be the Associated Press are pretending to call the election, taking advantage of high tensions around the presidential race.

Watch out for fake AP election results circulating on Twitter
[Source Photos: Unsplash]

Several Twitter accounts posing as news outlet the Associated Press are posting false election results. One account, @APMyWrist, even attempted to falsify its blue verified check mark. After Fast Company alerted Twitter of the account, it was suspended.

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At 10:50 a.m., @APMyWrist tweeted, “BREAKING: Joe Biden is elected President of the United States.” It is one of several fake AP accounts that have been proliferating since election night, no doubt taking advantage of an extremely tense electoral race.

All of the fake Associated Press accounts have the recognizable AP logo, leading hundreds to retweet them. However, they all lack the blue verification check mark. Twitter has suspended several accounts, a representative for the company said, but refused to provide a specific number.

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“We will suspend any account that is attempting to impersonate established news organizations and undermine the public conversation. So far, this is not large-scale or coordinated, but we remain vigilant,” a representative for Twitter said.

To avoid falling for fake election results, always look at the account’s handle. Sometimes the account handle for these fake news accounts will be completely random, like @ShaneM18_. Other times, they will look legitimate with slight variations from the real account, like @Associate_Press, @TheAssociatedP4, @AP_Politics_. Also, be on the look out for that blue check mark to ensure the account is verified.

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The fake accounts are apart of a larger swirl of misinformation that has surrounded the election. Many of the false claims have sought to question the credibility of the election and its results. President Trump has parroted several false narratives suggesting that illegitimate votes are being counted in some districts or that the election is being interfered with in some way. So far, none of these claims has been proven true. The fake AP accounts may be another attempt to sow the idea that the election is being called before all the votes are counted.
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About the author

Ruth Reader is a writer for Fast Company. She covers the intersection of health and technology.

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