BREAKING NEWS: Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will ban all new politics ads week before election, remove misleading claims about voting – and flag any attempt to claim victory before results are fully confirmed
- Facebook will ban all new political advertisements the week before the election
- Mark Zuckerberg announces series of changes to prevent election interference
- ‘This election is not going to be business as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy,’ Zuckerberg wrote
- Other changes including voter information and clamping down on any attempt by a candidate to claim victory before election results are known
- Policies will apply to candidates including President Trump
- ‘This will definitely apply to the president once this policy goes into place and it will apply to everyone equally,’ Zuckerberg told CBS ‘This Morning’
Facebook will ban all new political advertisements the week before the election, founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday as part of a series of moves to prevent interference in the November contest.
‘We’re going to block new political and issue ads during the final week of the campaign. It’s important that campaigns can run get out the vote campaigns, and I generally believe the best antidote to bad speech is more speech, but in the final days of an election there may not be enough time to contest new claims,’ Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.
The sweeping set of actions – the biggest the company has announced to date – comes amid what is expected to be a contentious election between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Election Day is two months away.
‘This election is not going to be business as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy,’ Zuckerberg wrote.
The founder and CEO of Facebook said the policies would apply to President Trump, who has had previous social media posts flagged for containing misleading information.
‘This will definitely apply to the president once this policy goes into place and it will apply to everyone equally,’ Zuckerberg told CBS ‘This Morning.’
He admitted to having conversations with President Trump about his social media use.
‘I have had certain discussions with him in the past and where I’ve told him that I thought some of the rhetoric was problematic. If I did talk to him, you know, be clear about how — just the importance of making sure that people have confidence in the election,’ he added.
Mark Zuckerberg announced a series of sweeping changes to Facebook policy to prevent any interference in the 2020 election
The November election between President Trump and Joe Biden is expected to be contentious
Zuckerberg outlined a series of other changes, including information on how to register to vote and vote by mail available on the social media platform, working with officials to remove misinformation about voting, limiting forwarding on Facebook Messenger, and clamping down on attempts to claim victory should the November results not be known in a timely manner.
‘If any candidate or campaign tries to declare victory before the results are in, we’ll add a label to their post educating that official results are not yet in and directing people to the official results,’ he wrote.
With more than 80 million voters expected to vote by mail this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, election results may not be known quickly after the November 2 contest as ballots trickle in.
Facebook will also refute attempts to delegitimize the election, something Democrats fear President Trump will try to do. The president has already claimed that voting by mail can lead to election fraud despite numerous studies showing that it does not.
Zuckerberg said the network will add warnings to any content meant 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.’
The company will also continue to remove conspiracy groups like QAnon from its platform.
And Facebook will remove any posts that convey misinformation about COVID-19 and voting.
Facebook and other social media companies have been under increased scrutiny this year for any misleading information posted to their platforms meant to influence the election.
And Facebook has long been criticized for not fact-checking political ads or limiting how they can be targeted at small groups of people.
Zuckerberg has been to Washington D.C. to defend his company before lawmakers.
The social media companies were caught off guard in 2016 by attempts by Russia to interfere in the election.
Facebook, Google, Twitter and others companies put safeguards in place to prevent it from happening again. Last year, Twitter banned political ads altogether.