Facebook preps measures for potential election unrest

Oct. 26, 2020 3:37 AM ETMeta Platforms, Inc. (META)METABy: Yoel Minkoff, SA News Editor62 Comments
  • As the threat of election-related unrest escalates in the U.S., Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) said it would implement emergency measures reserved for "at-risk" countries to bring down the online temperature.
  • The social media giant plans to limit the "spread of viral content" and lower the bar for "suppressing potentially inflammatory posts" using internal tools previously deployed in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, WSJ reports. The tools would only be used in the event of election-related violence or other serious circumstances, though some employees are concerned it could slow down viral content could unintentionally hide legitimate political discussions.
  • The move comes days after Facebook censored a story from The New York Post detailing allegedly corrupt business deals by Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden, which prompted criticism over the platform's role in regulating content.
  • Facebook has also said it would not accept new political ads a week before the U.S. election and plans to ban all U.S. political ads indefinitely after November 3.
  • "This election is not going to be business as usual," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last month. "We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy. That means helping people register and vote, clearing up confusion about how this election will work, and taking steps to reduce the chances of violence and unrest."

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