• Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
  • Last Update : 03:00 am

Facebook to reject political ads prematurely claiming US election victory

  • Published at 09:26 am September 24th, 2020
File photo: The Facebook logo is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019 Reuters

Democrats have raised concerns that President Donald Trump could use Facebook to convince people he had won

Facebook Inc will not accept political ads that seek to claim victory before the results of the 2020 US election are declared, a company spokesman tweeted on Wednesday.

The move expands the company’s plans, announced earlier this month, to stop accepting new political ads in the week before the election. At the time, Facebook said political advertisers could resume creating new ads after Election Day.

Democrats have warned of a “red mirage” on election night, citing expected delays in counting a record number of mail-in ballots this year, and raised concerns that President Donald Trump could use Facebook to convince people he had won.

Also read: Facebook removes Chinese accounts active in Philippines and US politics

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has articulated similar concerns about confusion likely to follow the election if results are not immediately clear.

In his announcement last month, he said Facebook was planning to append labels to posts that try to declare victory prematurely or delegitimize the outcome of the election.

The company will consider election results “declared” once they are announced via Reuters and the National Election Pool, which have partnered with Facebook to supply live election results, the spokesman, Andy Stone, said in a subsequent tweet.

Election officials have taken issue with that approach, noting that counting ballots can often take weeks even in normal election years, without the added pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a question about whether the new rule would apply to all elections set to take place on November 3 or only the US presidential election.

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