Facebook bans new political ads in week before election, victory claims before final results

by Laura Mize · Sep 3rd, 2020 12:04 pm

Last Updated Sep 4th, 2020 at 6:25 pm

Facebook announced new strategies for dealing with election-related content Thursday, including labels that will be applied to posts by any political campaign that claims victory in a race "before the final results are in" and a ban on new political ads in the week before the election.

Ads submitted before October 27 will continue to run.

In a lengthy Facebook post, CEO Mark Zuckerberg listed the company's election-related actions, which he says are designed to protect democracy.

The labels on posts claiming victory will direct users "to the official results from Reuters and the National Election Pool," the company website said.

Zuckerberg explained the rationale behind such labels in his Thursday post:

"Since the pandemic means that many of us will be voting by mail, and since some states may still be counting valid ballots after election day, many experts are predicting that we may not have a final result on election night. It's important that we prepare for this possibility in advance and understand that there could be a period of intense claims and counter-claims as the final results are counted."

Zuckerberg said that the platform would use the platform's Voting Information Center to "help people understand that there is nothing illegitimate about not having a result on election night." The Facebook CEO also said the Voting Information Center will include video tutorials on how to vote by mail.

The social media giant also says it will remove any posts that claim voting in person will cause people to catch coronavirus and will mark certain other posts with labels or with links to what the company considers "authoritative information."

Other types of "posts that might use COVID-19 to discourage voting" will have a link added that directs readers to information on the virus. Any post "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" will be marked with a label that provides additional voting information.


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