Technology

Facebook to remove posts that aim to intimidate voters ahead of US election

Fb says it is taking new steps to safeguard the US election.


Picture by Pixabay; illustration by PJDM

Fb mentioned Wednesday that it’s going to take down content material that seeks to intimidate voters, together with posts that encourage individuals to interact in ballot watching. The corporate will even direct customers to correct election outcomes by means of notifications and labels after the polls shut in November.

Social networks, together with Fb, have been criticized for not doing sufficient to safeguard democracy after Russian trolls abused these platforms to sow discord amongst People through the 2016 US presidential election. Since then, the social community has taken extra steps to organize for US elections, reminiscent of creating a web based hub for voter info, knocking down pretend accounts and displaying warning labels on posts that comprise misinformation. Nonetheless, politicians, celebrities and activists have been pressuring Fb to do extra to sort out misinformation. The corporate does not ship posts from politicians to third-party fact-checkers, a coverage that is continued to spark scrutiny this yr. 

“We imagine now we have completed greater than every other firm over the previous 4 years to assist safe the integrity of elections,” Fb’s Vice President of Integrity, Man Rosen, mentioned throughout a press convention Wednesday. Rosen mentioned the corporate has been planning for various situations which may occur through the presidential election.

On election night time, which is on Nov. 3, Fb will notify customers on Fb and Instagram and show labels below a candidate’s posts that direct customers to the social community’s Voting Data Heart. If a candidate or social gathering declares victory earlier than a significant media outlet calls a race, Fb will let customers know by way of notification that the votes are nonetheless being counted and a winner hasn’t been declared but. If a candidate contests the outcomes of the election, Fb will present the identify of the winner within the notifications displayed on the principle social community and on Instagram. Posts from presidential candidates will even be labeled with a discover that shows the winner’s identify and a hyperlink to the Voting Data Heart.

Fb will even quickly cease working advertisements within the US in regards to the election, social points and politics after the polls shut. The corporate will let advertisers know when this pause on advertisements will get lifted.

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Fb will notify customers that votes are nonetheless being counted on election night time.


Fb

Fb mentioned it can take away content material that goals to intimidate voters, together with posts that use militarized language reminiscent of phrases like “battle” or “military” to encourage individuals to interact in ballot watching. The coverage applies to any new content material, however not retroactively. Donald Trump Jr. has posted movies encouraging individuals to affix an elections safety “military” for his father President Donald Trump, who’s working for reelection.

Monika Bickert, who oversees content material coverage at Fb, mentioned one of these video can be taken down transferring ahead. Content material moderators must think about the context of the posts.

“For us, that is actually about recognizing when individuals are attempting to discourage or cease others from voting,” she mentioned.

The social community, which makes use of a mixture of know-how and employees to average content material, mentioned that between March and September it has pulled down greater than 120,000 US posts on Fb and Instagram that violate its guidelines towards voter interference. Fb has additionally displayed warning notices on greater than 150 million items of content material that contained misinformation debunked by fact-checkers.

“That does not imply that we think about our work full,” Bickert mentioned. “We all know that we’ll miss issues and that our enforcement will not be good.”

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Author

Queenie Wong