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Voting for Hillary Clinton by text? No, you can't do that

Twitter cracks down on an account posting misleading ads that encouraged Clinton supporters to "vote from home" by text message.

Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala Former Senior Writer
Laura wrote about e-commerce and Amazon, and she occasionally covered cool science topics. Previously, she broke down cybersecurity and privacy issues for CNET readers. Laura is based in Tacoma, Washington, and was into sourdough before the pandemic.
Expertise E-commerce, Amazon, earned wage access, online marketplaces, direct to consumer, unions, labor and employment, supply chain, cybersecurity, privacy, stalkerware, hacking. Credentials
  • 2022 Eddie Award for a single article in consumer technology
Laura Hautala
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Twitter took down tweets that falsely claimed voters can cast ballots by text messages.

Chesnot, Getty Images

Wouldn't it be nice? Send off a text message with a whoosh, and, presto, you've finished voting in the US national election.

But here's some important information: You can't vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton -- or for anyone, for that matter -- by text message. Electronic voting in the US is very limited, doesn't involve text messages, and can only be accessed by some military and overseas voters.

Some misleading ads on Twitter would have you believe otherwise. The ads, in English and Spanish, encourage Clinton voters to text "Hillary" to a 5-digit number to cast their votes and avoid the long lines at the polls. Twitter user Robert McNees said he flagged the tweets. Then, he said the company told him the tweets didn't violate Twitter's terms of service.

After BuzzFeed published a story on the ads Wednesday, Twitter took down the tweets.

"Not sure how this got past us. Fixed (and thanks for reporting)," Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweet Wednesday. Twitter declined to comment further for privacy reasons because the incident involved individual accounts.

A link to the account that originally tweeted the ads shows it has been suspended.