Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg says “risk of unrest” around US elections

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Facebook tightened its political advertising rules ahead of the 2020 elections

San Francisco:

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg warned on Thursday of possible unrest as the votes are counted in a US election that will be “a test” for the social network.

Zuckerberg expressed his concern when describing safeguards against misinformation and voter repression on the leading social network in an attempt to avoid the kind of deception and abuse that took place four years ago.

“I am concerned that given our nation is so divided and the election results may take days or weeks to complete, there is a risk of unrest,” said Zuckerberg, who was also at a meeting on Capitol Hill earlier this week had been grilled.

“With that in mind, companies like ours need to go way beyond what we’ve done before.”

Confusion over political ads on Facebook earlier this week tarnished the start of a slowdown ahead of the November 3rd US presidential election.

Rival parties complained that Facebook undermined campaigning efforts after failing to ban the publication of new paid political ads the week before election day.

“We’re investigating the issue of some ads being incorrectly paused and some advertisers struggling to make changes to their campaigns,” said Rob Leathern, Facebook product manager, in a tweet when the ban went into effect on Tuesday.

Political ad publishers can bypass the ban by uploading the ads to Facebook before the deadline and later distributing them to a wider audience.

California-based Facebook has tightened its political advertising rules ahead of the 2020 election in other ways, including banning attempts to undermine the electoral process.

A seemingly victorious ad is already showing up on the Facebook Paid Posts Library – a publicly available list – for President Donald Trump’s campaign.

And on Tuesday, Megan Clasen, senior media advisor to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, tweeted a screenshot of a Trump Facebook ad with a picture of the president and the message, “Election day is today.”

However, the former vice president’s campaign was told by Facebook that it would not be able to run ads that say election day is “today” or even “tomorrow,” Clasen said in the tweet.

Democratic political strategist Eric Reif said on Twitter that he and others were working to restore ads that were mistakenly removed from Facebook.

“While there will be a test for Facebook next week, I’m proud of the work we’ve done here,” said Zuckerberg.

“I also know that our work will not stop after November 3rd,” said Zuckerberg.

“So we will continue to anticipate new threats, develop our approach and fight to protect the integrity of the democratic process and the right of people to have their voices heard around the world.”

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)

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