Over the past few weeks, candidates and citizens of Singapore made Twitter the destination for breaking news and real-time public discussions about the 2020 #SGElection.
As the newly elected members of Parliament prepare to form a new government, we'd like to take this opportunity to share some of our efforts to protect the health of the election conversation and look back at the conversations that took place on Twitter during the election cycle.
Protecting the integrity of the Singapore Election on Twitter
Twitter serves the global public conversation, and protecting the integrity of the conversation around an election is an essential part of our mission.
In the lead up to the election, we trained political parties across the political spectrum so that interested parties and candidates knew how to best leverage Twitter to engage Singaporeans. During the session, we also briefed parties on the Twitter Rules, in particular our Election Integrity Policy and Political Content Policy, and onboarded them to support channels to ensure they could escalate concerns and report any violations of our Rules and policies expediently.
Twitter also conducted briefing sessions for non-profit organisations in Singapore, during which we shared in-depth knowledge of our tools, tips and best practices from around the world. We also provided an overview of our election policies, work around civic and election integrity and shared practical tips for staying safe on Twitter.
Our cross-functional elections team
In addition to our outreach efforts above, we also formed a high-level internal elections group to lead our election integrity work throughout the election period. The group consisted of several of the company’s top trust and safety experts and members from our site integrity, legal, data science investigation and public policy teams. This blend of perspectives, expertise and backgrounds was a critical component to keeping the conversation on our service healthy.
Fostering civic engagement and amplifying the election conversation
Twitter is the place where people go to see what’s happening around an election, participate in the conversation, and join the online campaign trail.
As Singapore is one of the very few countries holding a nationwide general election during the COVID-19 pandemic around the world (South Korea was another one recently), Twitter curated special Moments pages shedding light on how Singaporeans fulfill their civic duty during #GE2020:
To encourage public engagement and participation in the election conversation from the start of the campaigning period, Twitter launched a customised #SGElection emoji and shared a specially curated #GE2020 list via @TwitterSG. The list features a total of more than 90 accounts belonging to political parties, candidates, commentators, researchers, NGO partners and media observing this Singapore General Election.
Conversations that “warmed the cockles of our hearts”
From the start of the 2020 #SGElection campaigning period, we saw nearly 200,000 conversations on Twitter since Nomination Day (30 June), out of which nearly 80,000 were recorded on a single day of 11 July, within 24 hours of Polling Day.
After Polling Day, political parties and candidates also came to Twitter to thank their supporters:
Here are some of the other moments that warmed the cockles of our hearts since Polling Day:
Serving the public conversation beyond #GE2020
The public conversation on Twitter is never more important than during an election. With no physical rallies to go to this #GE2020, Singaporeans came to Twitter to get to know their politicians, engage with them, and share their insights and perspectives on critical issues in real-time.
Post-elections, Twitter will continue to work together with elected officials, government entities, industry peers, and others. We seek to enable citizens to continue to feel empowered in engaging their elected representatives through dialogue and healthy conversations.