Facebook said it is planning to temporarily stop running all social issue, electoral or political ads in the US after the polls close on November 3 to protect the integrity of the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
The move would reduce opportunities for confusion or abuse related to the election as it may take longer than previous elections to get the final results due to the coronavirus pandemic and more people voting by mail.
The social media giant said it will notify advertisers when this policy is lifted.
In a blog post, Guy Rosen, VP, Integrity stated that the company would also remove calls for people to engage in poll watching when those calls use militarized language or suggest that the goal is to intimidate, exert control, or display power over election officials or voters.
For the election, which comes amid the ongoing coronavirus spread, the company said it is preparing with a unique set of products and policies.
The companies’ two important goals during the election are to help more Americans register and vote, as well as to fight foreign interference, misinformation, and voter suppression.
The company is running the Elections Operations Center, which was launched in 2018, virtually, which brings together subject matter experts from the company for real-time monitoring to address potential abuse. The remote Elections Operations Center will continue to run through the election.
The center identifies and stops suspicious activity, and watch for threats in the form of organic content and issue ads. They proactively detect violating content including voter suppression, and investigating attempts of foreign and domestic interference.
Last week, Facebook had said that it would ban ads across Facebook and Instagram that seek to delegitimize the Presidential election, in line with its decision to prohibit ads that make premature declarations of victory.
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