- Facebook is taking sweeping precautionary measures ahead of the US presidential election, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday.
- Those measures target everything from misinformation on mail-in voting to candidates outright declaring victory before official ballot results are in.
- “If any candidate or campaign tries to declare victory before the results are in,” Zuckerberg said, “we’ll add a label to their post educating that official results are not yet in and directing people to the official results.”
- The company will also police content “that seeks to deligitimze 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” — a claim that President Trump has repeatedly made about voting by mail.
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Facebook is taking a series of precautionary measures ahead of the 2020 US presidential election, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday morning.
Prime among those measures is one aimed directly at the two presidential candidates and their campaigns: “If any candidate or campaign tries to declare victory before the results are in,” Zuckerberg said, “we’ll add a label to their post educating that official results are not yet in and directing people to the official results.”
The move, Zuckerberg said, is in anticipation of a “period of intense claims and counter-claims as the final results are counted.”
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.
Another measure Facebook is taking appears to more directly target President Trump: “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.”
Trump has repeatedly said voting by mail will lead to election fraud.
“This mail-in voting, where they mail, indiscriminately, millions and millions of ballots to people?” Trump said in early August. “You’re never gonna know who won the election.” The president used mail-in voting himself in recent elections, and has encouraged his supporters to vote by mail.
The measures, Zuckerberg said, are intended to “encourage voting, connect people with authoritative information, and fight misinformation.”
Notably, he said that Facebook will stand by these measures in the run up to the election. “To ensure there are clear and consistent rules, we are not planning to make further changes to our election-related policies between now and the official declaration of the result,” Zuckerberg said.
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