All ads in the US that “call voting fraud widespread, or election results invalid, or impugn any one method of voting” have been banned on Facebook and Instagram effective immediately, the social media company has announced.
The prohibitions apply to advertising regarding the US 2020 census and the November 3 elections, and specifically include ads that “that delegitimize any lawful method or process of voting or voting tabulation (including in-person voting on paper or on machines, absentee voting, vote by mail, and lawful collection of ballots) as illegal, inherently fraudulent or corrupt, or will result in a fraudulent or corrupt election administration or outcome.”
Ads that claim voter fraud is “widespread,” alters the outcome or results in a fraudulent or corrupt election will likewise be banned, alongside any “premature claims of election victory.”
For example, this would include calling a method of voting inherently fraudulent or corrupt, or using isolated incidents of voter fraud to delegitimize the result of an election. You can find more info and specifics in our Help Center here https://t.co/BPnm1z7LW6 (2/3)
— Rob Leathern (@robleathern) September 30, 2020
Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the platform would attach “informational labels” to posts that question the legitimacy of the US elections or voting methods, and declarations of victory before the final results are in.
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On Monday, however, the campaign of Democrat nominee Joe Biden sent Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg an angry letter, accusing the platform of being “the nation’s foremost propagator of disinformation about the voting process.”
“Facebook’s continued promise of future action is serving as nothing more than an excuse for inaction,” campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote, claiming that President Donald Trump has been using the platform to “spread false information” about mail-in voting and suppress the vote, according to the letter obtained by Axios.
Democrats have pushed for universal mail-in voting, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Lawyers for the DNC have filed dozens of lawsuits across US states, seeking to extend the deadlines for early in-person voting as well as counting ballots postmarked by election day, and loosen the requirements for recognizing mail-in ballots as valid. Trump has criticized these changes to standard electoral practice as opening up opportunities for potential fraud.