According to reports, Facebook will not accept new political advertisements the week leading up to the presidential election in November.
“This election is not going to be business as usual,” Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “The US 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. 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.”
In a press release, Facebook announced that the temporary policy is meant to stop the spread of misinformation, flag any candidates’ premature victory claims and help secure the integrity of the U.S. elections by encouraging voting, connecting people to authoritative information, and reducing the risks of post-election confusion.
Additionally, Facebook will remove posts that claim partaking in the voting process will cause participants to contract COVID-19, attach authoritative information to posts that use COVID-19 to discourage voting and attach information labels to content that discusses voting methods.
Zuckerberg also discussed foreign powers interfering in the presidential election noting that in the last week Facebook took down a network of 13 accounts and two pages that were trying to amplify division. Despite all negative forces, Zuckerberg believes that a free and fair election can be delivered, emphasizing that the country has gone through elections during pandemics in the past.