Facebook hasn’t been getting the best press as of late, but the platform made a bold (and comforting, if you’re not voting for Donald Trump) statement regarding the upcoming Presidential election in November. Having come under heavy criticism for failing to police foreign and domestic elections propaganda during the 2016 campaign, the social network is backing up their promise to crack down on hate speech, Facebook announced on Thursday that it will flag any unconfirmed posts regarding the election results.
Trump has kept up a constant attack on the integrity of the upcoming presidential election for months, focusing on the expanded use of mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook did not single out Trump in its announcement that it would label posts by any campaign that tries to declare victory before the final election results are in, but it will apply those standards to any of his posts sharing premature or false election results.
“This election is not going to be business as usual,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted on Thursday. “We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy. That means helping people register and vote, clearing up confusion about how this election will work, and taking steps to reduce the chances of violence and unrest.”
But less than two hours after Zuckerberg’s post, Trump posted instructions on Facebook for his supporters potentially to commit voter fraud by voting twice, saying they should mail in their ballots then go to their polling places on election day. Facebook added a label to the post saying “voting by mail has a long trustworthiness in the US” – which is untrue. Facebook also failed to note that double voting is fraudulent and illegal.
Trump has issued threats to Facebook before, criticizing the social media giant for “censoring” videos that contained misinformation regarding the coronavirus as well as the election. Other conservatives have had similar complaints, but Facebook is remaining firm on their policy.