Facebook isn't just banning political ads — it will also remove posts with 'content that seeks to intimidate voters'
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, at Georgetown University in 2019. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images
Facebook is taking extensive precautions ahead of the US presidential election.
These steps include increasing moderation of posts with "content intended to intimidate voters," including the use of "militarized language" when watching polls.
The new policy is part of a year-long overhaul of how Facebook works before, during, and after major elections.
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Facebook is taking a number of precautionary measures ahead of the 2020 US presidential election. The latest move is to monitor posts with "content intended to intimidate voters".
In particular, Facebook moderators pay attention to "calls to participate in polls when those calls use militarized language or indicate that the aim is to intimidate, control, or show power over election officials or voters".
The social media giant announced it on Wednesday night, along with news that it will stop accepting political ads after the November 3rd U.S. presidential election - a reversal of arguments CEO Mark Zuckerberg repeats for running unchecked political ads Has brought complaints.
The steps are the latest attempt to dispel criticism of Facebook's role in elections as the world's largest social network.
In anticipation of unclear election results, Zuckerberg announced in September that Facebook would flag all posts from candidates declaring victory before the results are finalized.
With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing in the US, more voters than ever are expected to vote from home in the upcoming presidential election. As a result, the election results may not be officially announced until some time after the November 3rd election.
If a candidate or campaign tries to declare victory before the official results are in, Facebook will label those claims as "an explanation that the official results are not yet in and an indication of the official results," Zuckerberg said.
Another move Facebook is taking appears to be more directly targeting President Trump's repeated claims that voting by mail will lead to electoral fraud: "We will add an information label to content that seeks to delegitimize the election result or discuss the legitimacy of voting methods . " for example, by claiming that legitimate voting methods lead to fraud. "
The new voter intimidation policy is effective immediately.
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