Facebook Bans Ads That Seek Delegitimize U.S. Election

Facebook Inc. said it will ban ads that seek to delegitimize the Presidential election. The announcement is in line with the social media giant’s decision to prohibit ads that make premature declarations of victory as it aims to protect the integrity of the upcoming U.S. 2020 elections.

Rob Leathern, Director of Product Management, in a tweet said that these changes apply to ads across Facebook and Instagram, effective immediately.

The tweet came after President Donald Trump falsely claimed during the first presidential debate that the election would be rigged, and that mail-in voting that was already underway was a fraud.

Leathern tweeted, “As we get closer to Election Day, we want to provide further clarity on policies we recently announced. Last week we said we’d prohibit ads that make premature declarations of victory. We also won’t allow ads with content that seeks to delegitimize the outcome of an election. 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.”

In a blog post, Facebook noted that it has prohibited ads about social issues, elections, or politics in the United States. Ads related to the US 2020 census participation and voting around the November 3, 2020 election are also prohibited.

Facebook has introduced a restriction period for ads about social issues, elections, or politics in the U.S. Advertisers will not be able to create and run new ads about these topics in the country between October 27 through November 3.

According to the company, the ban includes ads that portray voting or census participation as useless/meaningless, ads that delegitimize any lawful method or process of voting or voting tabulation as illegal, inherently fraudulent, or corrupt, and ads that delegitimize an election and/or result as fraudulent or corrupt, among other things.

In early September, the company had announced that it will not accept any new political ads in the week before the election, and will also remove posts that claim that people will get COVID-19 if they take part in voting.

Facebook, which has been severely criticized for not controlling the spread of fake or misleading information on its platform, has been taking various steps to make it corrected.

In August, Facebook removed a video that Trump posted on his official Facebook account in which he claimed that children were “almost immune” to the coronavirus.

In March, Facebook banned ads and commerce listings for hand sanitizer, surface disinfecting wipes, and COVID-19 test kits from its website amid the virus spread.

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