Facebook announces measures to protect the U.S. elections

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Facebook has set out some measures that it will be taking to ensure that the U.S. elections are as fair as possible. Facebook was criticised for its handling of content on its platform during the last presidential election and it doesn’t want a repeat of that experience.

During the upcoming elections, Facebook will take the following steps to ensure people don’t get tricked by misinformation:

  • No new political ads will be allowed to run in the week before the election.
  • Posts that claim people will be infected with COVID-19 if they go out to vote will be removed. Additionally, posts that discourage voting over COVID-19 will be tagged with a link to an authoritative source about the disease.
  • An information label will be attached to content that looks to delegitimise the outcome of the election or discuss the legitimacy of voting methods.
  • Finally, if a candidate or campaign tries to claim victory before the final votes are in, a label will be added to the post directing people to official election results hosted by Reuters and the National Election Pool.

Commenting on the measures, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, said:

“Today, we're announcing additional steps we're taking at Facebook to encourage voting, connect people with authoritative information, and fight misinformation. These changes reflect what we've learned from our elections work over the past four years and the conversations we've had with voting rights experts and our civil rights auditors.”

The Facebook CEO also revealed that in the last three days, Facebook has seen 24 million clicks to voter registration websites that it showed to users. He and his wife Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg have also personally donated $300 million to non-partisan organisations supporting states and local counties in strengthening voting infrastructure.

In addition to the measures listed above, Facebook announced today that it was going to limit the spread of misinformation on Messenger by limiting the number of people or groups that users can forward a message to. With the new limits, a message can only be shared with five people or groups at a time.

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