On Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared additional details on the company’s 2020 US election plans. Zuckerberg said the social media giant will display its Voting Information Center at the top of the Facebook and Instagram apps.
When it detailed the hub last week, Facebook said its hope was to help 4 million people register for the upcoming elections. The center will notify users of announcements and changes to the election process. It will also provide information on topics like registration periods, when early voting starts and the deadline to apply to vote by mail.
When it comes to potential cases of voter suppression, every post that mentions the 2020 election will include a link to the Voter Information Center. Facebook also plans to flag posts made by politicians in this same way. "This isn't a judgment of whether the posts themselves are accurate," said Zuckerberg. "But we want people to have access to authoritative information either way." He went on to say the reason the company isn’t taking a more nuanced moderating approach is that it would be difficult to do so at scale.
Zuckerberg said the company is also tightening its policies on content that misleads people on when or how they can vote. In the 72 hours leading up to election day, the company’s Elections Operations Center will remove posts that include false information about polling conditions. The company will work state authorities to decide on the accuracy of posts that potentially violate the policy.
Facebook is also banning posts that falsely claim there are ICE agents at a polling station checking immigration papers since that’s a frequent tactic used by some to prevent people from voting. For much the same reason, the company likewise plans to remove posts that threaten coordinated interference. The example Zuckerberg gave is of someone writing something like their friends will be there to ensure “only the right people vote.”
In the same stream, Zuckerberg announced Facebook will add warnings to posts from politicians who break the company’s rules. The social media giant has recently been under significant pressure to change some of its longstanding policies. Due to a push from civil rights groups like the Anti-Defamation League, several high-profile advertisers said they would temporarily stop advertising on the platform through the month of July.