Facebook VP, Integrity, Guy Rosen has announced that Facebook and Instagram will temporarily ban all political ads after voting ends on November 3 to try to prevent the social media platforms being misused to sow confusion.
Facebook had already announced it would halt political advertisements in the seven days leading up to the election and ban all political ads that seek to delegitimise the results of an election.
“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,” Guy Rosen said in a blog.
“Getting the final election results this year may take longer than previous elections due to the (coronavirus) pandemic and more people voting by mail. So we’re preparing a range of policies and products to keep people informed and prevent the spread of misinformation.
“For example, when polls close, we will run a notification at the top of Facebook and Instagram and apply labels to candidates’ posts directing people to the Voting Information Center for more information about the vote-counting process. But, if a candidate or party declares premature victory before a race is called by major media outlets, we will add more specific information in the notifications that counting is still in progress and no winner has been determined.”
“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,” said Rosen.
Facebook also said it will remove calls for people to engage in “poll watching” when those posts use “militarized language” or “suggest that the goal is to intimidate, exert control, or display power over election officials or voters”.