Facebook Bans Misinformation on Voting Methods on Its Sites
Facebook said it's banning misinformation on its platform about how people can vote or whether their vote will count, broadening its policies to prevent voter suppression ahead of the U.S. midterm elections.
Facebook's previous rules already barred misinformation about places, times and locations for voting, the company said Monday. The new policy would cover some other issues that came up during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Both Facebook and Twitter contended with viral online posts -- including from Russian propagandists -- saying that U.S. voters could submit their ballot choices via text message, for example.
Other types of voting suppression, like posts that falsely say polling places are closed or facing violence, would be handled by the company's third-party fact-checkers and down-ranked in the news feed if they're found to be false.
The company also announced it would require British political adverts posted on its pages to carry disclaimers and identity flags, in an attempt to crack down on the spread of misinformation.
From today, all advertisers wanting to run ads in the UK that reference political figures, political parties, elections, legislation before Parliament and past referenda that are the subject of national debate, will need to verify their identity and location and carry a "Paid for by" disclaimer.
In addition to being clear about who is funding an ad, when you click on the "Paid for by" label, you will be taken to the UK's own Ad Library. This will include a range of the ad's budget and number of people reached, and the other ads that Page is running. The library is completely searchable and, as of today, can now be accessed by anyone in the world regardless of whether they have a Facebook account or not at facebook.com/ads/archive.
Facebook was heavily criticized in the United States for a lax approach to fake news reports and disinformation, which many believe affected voting in the 2016 presidential election, won by Donald Trump.