Facebook has continued to change its rules about Election Day ads. Now, the platform plans to restrict all political ads as soon as the polls close.
The platform reportedly “now plans to prohibit all political and issue-based advertising after the polls close on Nov. 3 for an undetermined length of time,” The New York Times reported on October 7.
“The social media giant also said it would remove calls for people to watch the polls when those posts use militaristic or intimidating language. Executives said the policy applies to anyone, including President Trump and other officials,” said The Washington Post.
In the months leading up to the election, Facebook has continually piled on to its list of rules regarding election ads, initially claiming that it would only combat misinformation, voter suppression, or the incitement of violence. “The company plans to partner with Reuters to send out notifications on election night on Facebook and Instagram with the latest results. Facebook has previously said it would apply labels to posts where a presidential candidate or other party declares victory prematurely, saying the count is ongoing,” said a separate article from The Washington Post.
But critics on both sides of the aisle are still unhappy with Facebook’s decision. In a tweet, Elizabeth Warren called these changes “performative,” so that Facebook can “try to avoid blame for misinformation on its platform.”
“Our 2.3 million grass-roots volunteers have long been branded the ‘Army for Trump,’ making it glaringly obvious that this new policy is specifically targeted at the president’s campaign. It’s just more proof that Silicon Valley leftists are doing everything they can to protect their own candidate, Joe Biden, who needs others to stick up for him,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump campaign in a statement to The Post.
In recent months, Facebook has removed or labelled multiple posts from President Donald Trump. Just this week,, Facebook removed a post from Trump claiming that COVID-19 is less lethal than the flu. Last week, the platform removed an ad from Trump about COVID-19 and the border. On September 3, Facebook flagged Trump’s post that told voters how to make sure their votes have been properly collected and tabulated.
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