Facebook to stop new political ads days before election

New political ads to be stopped on Facebook before election

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced the social media platform will not allow new political advertising on the site for the week leading up to Election Day. It will also take down posts that try to discourage or suppress voting.

Zuckerberg made the announcement Thursday morning, trying to calm fears about how Facebook could be used to manipulate the election, NBC News reported.

In a memo to Facebook staffers, Zuckerberg wrote: “The U.S. elections are just two months away, and with Covid-19 affecting communities across the country, I”m concerned about challenges people could face when voting. 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,” according to NBC News.

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Zuckerberg added, according to The Wall Street Journal, “Our democracy is strong enough to withstand this challenge and deliver a free and fair election.”

Facebook is among the social media companies that have been asked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security and other intelligence agencies to plan for foreign interference, questions about the vote’s legality and social media-fueled arguments over the results, The Wall Street Journal reported.

It has also come under fire for not fact-checking political advertising, The Associated Press reported. It has also allowed ads from politicians and edited videos that spread false information, citing freedom of expression, the AP reported.

Facebook will label fake or early victory claims by candidates and will alert users to real vote tallies and up-to-the-minute results. It is partnering with Reuters to compile the data, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The company will also help people register and vote and limit how many people an article can be shared with via Messenger, the AP reported.

Twitter took the campaign against misinformation a step further last year, by banning political ads across the board, the AP reported.