Facebook Outlines New Measures to Protect the Integrity of the US Presidential Election

The US Presidential Election campaigns are gaining momentum, and the expectation is that it will be one of most divisive and volatile political battles in the nation’s history.

And already, there have been accusations of questionable tactics, and concerns around the use of misinformation in order to gain advantage. Questions have been raised around the voting process itself, the use of image editing and ‘deepfakes‘, and foreign interference already. And this is before we’ve really reached the main campaign period – over the next two months, you can expect there to be much, much more on this front, as the contenders seek to get an edge in the race.

Facebook knows that it’ll caught be in the middle of this, just as it was in 2016, and along with the various new measures that it’s implemented to better detect political misuse, and protect voters from such, this week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg some additional steps that it’s taking in order to uphold the integrity of the 2020 US Presidential Election.

Here’s what’s been announced:

Voter Information Push

Facebook says that it will present authoritative information on voting at the top of Facebook and Instagram “almost every day until the election”, via its Voting Information Center.

The informational prompts are part of Facebook’s effort to get more people to the polls, with a goal of encouraging four million more Americans to vote.

Hopefully, through these prompts, Facebook will be able to counter voting misinformation, and encourage more people to have their say on the nation’s leadership, according to an article written by Andrew Hutchinson, Social Media Today (09.04.20).

The informational prompts will include video tutorials on how to vote, and updates on deadlines for registering and voting in your state.

Blocking New Political Ads in the Lead-Up to the Poll

After weighing a political advertising blackout period in the days leading into the vote, Facebook has now decided to only block new political ads during the final week of the campaign.

As explained by Zuckerberg:

“It’s important that campaigns can run get out the vote campaigns, and I generally believe the best antidote to bad speech is more speech, but in the final days of an election there may not be enough time to contest new claims. So in the week before the election, we won’t accept new political or issue ads.”

That will mean that existing ads can still run, while the respective campaigns will also be able to adjust the targeting and budget for their previously launched promotions. But new ads will not be authorized in that final week.

Many have criticized the decision, including the Trump campaign, which says that President Trump will essentially be “silenced by the Silicon Valley Mafia” in the crucial, final stretch of the campaign.

Which is not true – Trump, and indeed any other candidate, will still be able to post to their Facebook Page in that last week. They just won’t be able to boost such or push new ads, while the option to amplify previously existing campaigns will still afford them the capacity to amplify their messaging via paid means.

This entry was posted in #dailydiaryofscreens., Audience Analysis, Audience Behavior, Audience Management, Broadcast TV Ratings in Australia, Data, Digital, Direct, Marketing Notes, Media, Media Analysis, Media Management, Mobile, Social Media Note, Social Media Note Of The Day, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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