- Facebook is taking sweeping precautionary measures ahead of the US presidential election.
- Among those steps is increased moderation of posts with “content that seeks to intimidate voters,” including the use of “militarised language” regarding poll watching.
- The new policy is part of a years-long overhaul of how Facebook operates before, during, and after major elections.
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Facebook is taking a series of precautionary measures ahead of the 2020 US presidential election, and the latest such measure involves policing posts with “content that seeks to intimidate voters.”
Specifically, Facebook moderators are watching out for “calls for people to engage in poll watching when those calls use militarised language or suggest that the goal is to intimidate, exert control, or display power over election officials or voters.”
The social media giant announced as much on Wednesday evening, alongside the news that it will no longer accept political ads after the November 3 US presidential election â€” a reversal of arguments that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly made in favour of running unchecked political ads.
The moves are the latest foray to address criticisms with Facebook’s role in elections as the world’s largest social network.
In September, in anticipation of unclear election results,Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will label any posts from candidates declaring victory before the results are conclusively tallied.
With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing in the United States, more voters than ever are expected to vote from home during the upcoming presidential election. As a result, it’s possible that the election results won’t be officially announced until some time after the election on November 3.
If any candidate or campaign attempts to declare victory before the official results are in, Facebook will label those claims “educating that official results are not yet in and directing people to the official results,” Zuckerberg said.
Another measure Facebook is taking appears to more directly target President Trump’s repeated claims that voting by mail will lead to election fraud: “We will attach an informational label to content that seeks to delegitimize the outcome of the election or discuss the legitimacy of voting methods, for example, by claiming that lawful methods of voting will lead to fraud.”
The new policy regarding voter intimidation goes into effect immediately.
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