Facebook bans new political ads in week before election

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  sister-mary-agnes-ample-bottom  •  3 weeks ago  •  21 comments

By:   Dylan Byers (NBC News)

Facebook bans new political ads in week before election
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday a ban on new political ads for the week leading up to Election Day, Nov. 3.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Facebook will ban new political ads for the week leading up to Election Day, Nov. 3, and remove posts that try to suppress or discourage voting, the company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday.

The measures also aim to prevent campaigns and their supporters from making premature claims of victory, a situation some Democrats have described as a doomsday scenario.

The announcement came as part of a series of steps to address concerns about how Facebook could be used to manipulate the election, and included a warning from Zuckerberg about potential unrest around the U.S. related to the election.

"The U.S. elections are just two months away, and with Covid-19 affecting communities across the country, I'm concerned about the challenges people could face when voting," Zuckerberg wrote in a note to staff members. "I'm also worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or even weeks to be finalized, there could be an increased risk of civil unrest across the country."

Facebook's move comes amid growing fears that President Donald Trump and his supporters will use social media to spread evidence-free claims of voter fraud and cast doubt on mail-in votes, which are likely to delay the final results for several days.

"This election is not going to be business as usual," Zuckerberg wrote. "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."

Facebook removes network of fake Russian accounts


"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," the Facebook chief added. "This could be a very heated period."

The new steps also come after Facebook's hesitance to take more aggressive action on misinformation spread by President Donald Trump has made the company and Zuckerberg the target of heated criticism, including from within the company.

While Facebook has declined to take more aggressive action, such as Twitter's ban on all political ads, the company has made a series of changes in recent months including allowing users to opt out of political ads.

Thursday's announcement of a ban on new political and issued ads in the week leading up to Election Day adds to that list, though it may not have the same impact as it would in previous elections. Voters are expected to cast many more votes by mail ahead of the election than in previous years.

"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 said, though he noted that advertisers will be able to continue running ads they started running before the final week and adjust the targeting for those ads.

Facebook will also put "authoritative" election information at the top of users' Facebook and Instagram feeds and will remove any posts that contain misinformation about voting or try to use the coronavirus pandemic to discourage voting.

Finally, Facebook says that "if any candidate or campaign tries to declare victory before the final results are in," it will "add a label to their posts directing people to the official results from Reuters."

In recent months, Trump has repeatedly tried to cast doubt on the integrity of the election, questioning the legitimacy of mail-in votes. This week, he encouraged supporters in North Carolina to test the mail-in system by voting twice, which is illegal.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the Democratic party is preparing "for a worst-case scenario in which Mr. Trump fights in courts and state legislatures after declaring a premature victory."

Democrats are also concerned that Trump and his supporters will use social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to advance false claims.

For Facebook, the proactive posture on the 2020 election is an opportunity to make up for failures during the 2016 election, when foreign governments and groups used the platform to spread misinformation and sow discord.

This time around, however, Facebook is "increasingly seeing attempts to undermine the legitimacy of our elections from within our own borders," Zuckerberg told staff.

"I believe our democracy is strong enough to withstand this challenge and deliver a free and fair election — even if it takes time for every vote to be counted," he wrote. "We can do this. But it's going to take a concerted effort by all of us — political parties and candidates, election authorities, the media and social networks, and ultimately voters as well — to live up to our responsibilities."

Dylan Byers

Dylan Byers is a senior media reporter for NBC News based in Los Angeles.


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Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
1  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom    3 weeks ago

A good idea?  Yep.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

Given Facebook's susceptibility to fake news, they should ban political advertising for the final month before the election. 

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
2.1  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  JohnRussell @2    3 weeks ago
Given Facebook's susceptibility to fake news, they should ban political advertising for the final month before the election. 

A better idea?  Yep.

 
 
 
Kavika
3  Kavika     3 weeks ago

Ads should be banned at least a month before the election. 

It has become a joke in the US when the election season is 6 months or longer.

I'm all for requirements like Australia. Voting is mandatory and the campaign is limited in its time frame. Different type of government but at least to you don't have to listen to constant lying for months on end.

 
 
 
MUVA
3.1  MUVA  replied to  Kavika @3    3 weeks ago

You should move to Australia problem solved.

 
 
 
Kavika
3.1.1  Kavika   replied to  MUVA @3.1    3 weeks ago

That would be easy for me to do since I have permanent residency status in Australia. 

I have lived there full time in the past but that has nothing to do with my comment about the US election season. 

 
 
 
MUVA
3.1.2  MUVA  replied to  Kavika @3.1.1    3 weeks ago

If you want Australian type election that would be the best place to go wouldn't it?

 
 
 
Kavika
3.1.3  Kavika   replied to  MUVA @3.1.2    3 weeks ago

Perhaps the suggestion would help improve our election process especially making it mandatory that everyone votes. 

 
 
 
MUVA
3.1.4  MUVA  replied to  Kavika @3.1.3    3 weeks ago

I actually agree I'm being a contrarian this morning it was all in jest. I would like to see more political parties  the two party system sucks. 

 
 
 
Kavika
3.1.5  Kavika   replied to  MUVA @3.1.4    3 weeks ago

I would definitely like to see a viable 3rd party.

 
 
 
MUVA
3.1.6  MUVA  replied to  Kavika @3.1.5    3 weeks ago

I agree with a shorter election cycle the money wasted and the graft is sicking.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3.1.7  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Kavika @3.1.5    3 weeks ago

I think we all would.  There are a great many things we all agree on, that would go a long way in getting our government straightened out.

Big one..... Get money out of politics.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3.2  JohnRussell  replied to  Kavika @3    3 weeks ago
It has become a joke in the US when the election season is 6 months or longer.

The 2020 election season began early in 2019 when candidates began to announce they were running. The first Democratic debate was 14 months before the Nov 3 2020 election. The same thing happened with the Republicans in 2015. 

It's ridiculous but there is a lot of money to be made by extending election season so that is why it happens. 

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
3.2.1  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  JohnRussell @3.2    3 weeks ago

Trump started holding rallies in February of 2017.  Hells bells, he filed the paperwork one week after his inauguration. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
4  Buzz of the Orient    3 weeks ago
"This week, he encouraged supporters in North Carolina to test the mail-in system by voting twice, which is illegal."

Counselling the public to commit a crime? - THAT P.O.S. IS A CRIMINAL.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4    3 weeks ago

I believe encouraging someone to vote twice is a felony in all 50 states.  

 
 
 
TOM PA
4.2  TOM PA  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4    3 weeks ago

If he's going to advocate it, he should do it in Florida.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
5  Buzz of the Orient    3 weeks ago

I don't know if it was fake news, but I thought I saw an article that said one of the States was going to ban mail-in ballots.  Could that possibly be true.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
5.1  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5    3 weeks ago

I don't think so, but as fast as things change under this administration, who knows.

Trump made a statement earlier that people who vote by mail should also vote in person...'just to be sure'.  Not only is it illegal to vote twice, it's illegal to attempt to vote twice.  

 
 
 
JohnRussell
5.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @5.1    3 weeks ago

Yes, but, Trump loves illegality. It's one of his favorite things, so he's happy. 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
6  Perrie Halpern R.A.    3 weeks ago

An excellent idea. For once I agree with Zuckerberg. 

 
 
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