Facebook bans political advertising in US elections

The social network plans to temporarily cease displaying political, electoral and social-related ads in the United States on November 3rd.

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This article has been translated from our English edition.

Facebook bans political advertising in US elections
Facebook bans political advertising in US elections

This story originally appeared on PCMag

Social media was the focus of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, and Facebook has taken special care avoiding the same mistakes it made four years ago.

At least until the polls are closed. The social network plans to temporarily cease publishing ads on political, electoral and social issues in the United States. On November 3, after the election is over, “to reduce the risk of confusion or abuse,” says Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, who says, “We keep an eye on the ball.”

The next 26 days are an open season for propaganda, despite Facebook announcing a ban on new political ads last month a week before the election. Advertisers will be notified when the policy is lifted.

Election result planning

With so many postal ballot papers to count, the results of this year’s election are unlikely to be announced on November 3rd. To avoid a mistake, Facebook is preparing “a set of guidelines and products” to keep users informed without spreading false news, says Rosen.

“For example, when the polls close, we post a notification on top of Facebook and Instagram and apply tags to candidate submissions, which people direct to the Voting Information Center to learn more about the counting process. Votes,” explains Rosen. When a candidate or party declares an early victory, the social network duplicates warnings that indicate that the people count has not yet been completed and a winner has not been determined.

Fight against voter intimidation and interference

Facebook is expanding its efforts to stop voter intimidation online and in elections. The website encourages more people to sign up for Facebook Protect to protect campaign accounts on social media, elected officials, and committees and employees of federal and state political parties. He also works closely with attorneys general and law enforcement agencies to identify and investigate possible voter interference.

Not only does Facebook eliminate phone calls to interfere with polling stations, but it also pulls content encouraging attendees to watch the election (based on the number of ballots) “when those calls use militarized language or make suggestions.” that the aim is to intimidate, control, or show power over election officials or voters.

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