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Facebook Vows To Crack Down On Voter Intimidation In Election

Facebook Vows To Crack Down On Voter Intimidation In Election

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October 7, 20206:23 PM ET

Shannon Bond

SHANNON BONDTwitter

With more people voting by mail this year, Facebook and other social media companies are preparing for a potential delay in election results.Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would crack down on efforts to intimidate voters, amid growing concerns over potential confrontations at polling places and calls from the Trump campaign for an “army” of poll watchers.

The company said it would remove posts urging people to monitor voting places if the posts “use militarized language or suggest that the goal is to intimidate, exert control, or display power over election officials or voters.”

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Yet a prominent example of such a post, in which Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, urges “every able-bodied man, woman to join Army for Trump’s election security operation,” will remain on the platform. Facebook says it does not apply its policies retroactively.

The company will remove only new posts that use militarized language such as “army” or “battle,” Monika Bickert, head of content policy, told reporters on Wednesday. “Under the new policy, if that [Trump] video were to be posted again, we would indeed be removing it,” she said.

Facebook also announced it will stop running all political and issue ads in the U.S. for at least a week after polls close on Election Day “to reduce opportunities for confusion or abuse,” amid growing expectations that the results of the presidential election may not be immediately known.Article continues after sponsor message

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“We know this election will be unlike any other,” Sara Schiff, Facebook’s product lead for political advertising, told reporters.

Facebook defines “social issue” ads in the U.S. to cover a wide range of subjects, from civil and social rights, environmental politics and guns to health, immigration and education.

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