Facebook Bans US Ads That Call Voting Fraud Widespread or Election Invalid

Facebook has been under fire for refusing to fact-check political ads more broadly and for rampant organic misinformation.

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Facebook Bans US Ads That Call Voting Fraud Widespread or Election Invalid

New election ad prohibition will include those that portray voting or census participation as meaningless

Highlights
  • Facebook announced the new rules in a blog post
  • It adds to earlier restrictions on premature claims of election victory
  • Trump has been especially critical of mail-in ballots

Facebook on Wednesday banned ads on its flagship website and Instagram photo and video sharing service that claim widespread voting fraud, suggest US election results would be invalid, or which attack any method of voting.

The company announced the new rules in a blog post, adding to earlier restrictions on premature claims of election victory.

The move came a day after US President Donald Trump used the first televised debate with Democratic challenger Joe Biden to amplify his baseless claims that the November 3 presidential election will be "rigged."

Trump has been especially critical of mail-in ballots, and he cited a number of small unrelated incidents to argue that fraud was already happening at scale.

Facebook has been under fire for refusing to fact-check political ads more broadly and for rampant organic misinformation.

Citing hate speech rules, it also moved Wednesday to remove Trump campaign ads suggesting that immigrants could be a significant source of coronavirus infections.

Facebook said the new election ad prohibition would include those that "portray voting or census participation as useless/meaningless" or that "delegitimise any lawful method or process of voting or voting tabulation ... as illegal, inherently fraudulent or corrupt."

Facebook also cited ads that call an election fraudulent or corrupt because the result was unclear on election night or because ballots received afterward were still being counted.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


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