Facebook will ban all new political ads in the week leading up to the election, founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday as part of a series of measures to prevent interference in the November competition.
& # 39; We'll be blocking new political ads and running ads in the last week of the campaign. It is important that campaigns can be run to end the voting campaigns and I generally believe that the best antidote to bad language is more language, but there may not be enough time in the last few days of an election to challenge new claims "Wrote Zuckerberg in a Facebook post.
The full offering – the largest the company has announced to date – takes place amid a likely controversial election between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Election day is two months away.
& # 39; This election will not go as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy, ”wrote Zuckerberg.
Facebook's founder and CEO said the guidelines would apply to President Trump, who had previously identified social media posts as misleading.
"This will definitely apply to the President once this policy goes into effect, and it will apply to all equally," Zuckerberg told CBS This Morning.
He admitted talking to President Trump about his use of social media.
“I have had certain conversations with him in the past and have told him that I thought some of the rhetoric was problematic. If I've talked to him, you know how – just how important it is for people to have confidence in the election, ”he added.
Mark Zuckerberg announced a series of major changes to Facebook's policy to prevent any interference in the 2020 election
The November elections between President Trump and Joe Biden are expected to be controversial
The changes were announced because of concerns about the role social media companies will play in the November competition.
Facebook has become one of the main battlegrounds in the Trump-Biden campaign. The President's campaign and his support units have stopped advertising advertising against his Democratic rival – some banned and others flagged for misleading content. Biden's campaign criticized Facebook for not doing more to counteract the wrong information.
Zuckerberg's announcement contained a warning of possible unrest and disenfranchisement of voters in the construction phase until November 3rd.
"The US elections are only two months away and with COVID-19 affecting communities across the country, I am concerned about the challenges people might face in voting," he wrote. "I'm also concerned that given that our nation is so divided and the election results may take days or even weeks to be finalized, the risk of unrest across the country could be increased."
Although new political ads will be banned a week before the election, existing political ads will not be affected.
Zuckerberg outlined a number of other changes, including information on how to register to vote and how to vote via email, available on the social media platform, to work with officials to clean up misinformation about votes being forwarded to Restricting Facebook Messenger and curbing attempts to achieve victory should not be known in time for the November results.
"If a candidate or campaign tries to declare victory before the results are in, we will add a label to their post indicating that the official results are not yet in and alert people to the official results," wrote he.
With more than 80 million voters expected to vote by mail this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, election results may not be known as soon after the November 3 contest as ballots arrive.
Facebook will also oppose attempts to delegitimize the elections, which Democrats fear President Trump will attempt. The President has already claimed that postal voting can lead to election fraud, although numerous studies show that it does not.
Zuckerberg said the network will warn any content that "is intended to delegitimize the election result or to discuss the legitimacy of voting methods, for example by claiming that legitimate voting methods lead to fraud".
The company will continue to remove conspiracy groups like QAnon from its platform.
And Facebook will remove all posts that contain misinformation about COVID-19 and polls.
Facebook and other social media companies were heavily screened this year for misleading information posted on their platforms to influence the election.
And Facebook has long been criticized for failing to review or restrict political ads from targeting small groups of people.
Mark Zuckerberg said the new guidelines will apply to President Donald Trump – the two men can be seen above at a meeting of the Oval Office last year
Zuckerberg was in Washington DC defending his company before lawmakers.
Social media companies were surprised by Russia's attempts to interfere in the elections in 2016.
Facebook, Google, Twitter and other companies have taken security measures to prevent recurrence. Last year, Twitter banned political ads altogether.
Facebook was pressured to remove misleading political ads and treated videos. However, in the past the company has shown reluctance to take such a move.
In August, Facebook removed a pro-Trump campaign ad for containing incorrect information about Biden – a rare drop in content.
President Trump criticized social media companies for flagging or banning posts and accused the companies of discriminating against conservative content.