Facebook will temporarily ban all social and political ads in the US after polls close on Nov 3

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on October 08, 2020

Facebook will temporarily halt all social issue, electoral or political ads in the United States after the polls close on November 3 for the US Presidential Elections 2020.

“While ads are an important way to express voice, we plan to temporarily stop running all social issue, electoral or political ads in the US after the polls close on November 3, to reduce opportunities for confusion or abuse. We will notify advertisers when this policy is lifted,” Facebook said in a blog post.

The social media giant is taking various measures ahead of the US Elections to address concerns that social media could impact the elections.

In order to prevent misinformation, Facebook will run a notification at the top of Facebook and Instagram and apply labels to candidates’ posts directing users to its Voting Information Centre.

In case a projected winner has been declared by a major media outlet before results are announced, it will add more specific information in the notifications stating that counting is still in progress and no winner has been determined. It will add the source of the information within the notification.

“If the candidate that is declared the winner by major media outlets is contested by another candidate or party, we will show the name of the declared winning candidate with notifications at the top of Facebook and Instagram, as well as label posts from presidential candidates, with the declared winner’s name and a link to the Voting Information Center,” it said.

Facebook is already adding labels to content that discusses the legitimacy of the election or claims that lawful methods of voting like mail-in ballots will lead to fraud. It has also activated its Election Operation Centre that includes “subject matter experts” from across the company including Facebook’s threat intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations and legal teams. These experts will engage in real-time monitoring to address potential abuse “flowing across” Facebook’s network ahead of the US midterm elections.

It is also blocking any content encouraging “coordinated interference at or bringing weapons to polling places” and is working with “state attorneys general and other federal, state, and local law enforcement officials responsible for election protection” to identify and prevent potential voter interference, it said.

Published on October 08, 2020

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