Facebook plans to take effective measures through its internal tools to prevent the spread of violent and hateful content amidst the upcoming election chaos

Facebook is a widely used social media platform, and because of its lenient content moderation policies, it is always under the line of criticism. A few years back, when the Rohingya Muslims were being brutally killed and tortured, Facebook had not done much to prevent the spread of violence-propagating content through its platform. For this, it was widely criticized. So, this time around the upcoming US Presidential Election, the Wall Street Journal has reported that Facebook has planned to take some effective measures through its internal tools to take care of chaos that may erupt on the platform because of the uncertainty around the election.

As per the reports, Facebook plans to change the news feed algorithm to prevent users from viewing certain posts that may contain violent, hateful, divisive, or potentially dangerous content that can incite offline violence, and it will slow down the spread of such posts before they go viral. Facebook is also ready to bend its content moderation policies and content removal guidelines and to tighten them up around dangerous content. Facebook has previously used these strategies with countries like Sri Lanka and Burma where there is a lot of mistrust around ethnicities and unrest happens because of political involvement on various levels.

These tools and strategies will only be employed if the company sees or fore-sees violent unrest related to pre- and post-election. For this reason, Facebook will stop playing new political ads one week prior to the election. But the ads that have already been approved will continue to run.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, this time around, the US elections are not going to be dealt with as they used to be in the past. This time, there is already a lot of uncertainty around the political campaigns, the results, and the mail-in-voting system because of the coronavirus pandemic. So, social media platforms have to be extra cautious to handle messy situations.

To help the people more, Facebook has added a ‘voter information center’ in the top feeds of the Facebook app and Instagram. The company is also partnering with Reuters to provide live and official election results and updates to its users in the US.

Like Twitter, Facebook has also announced that any posts that will make premature claims of victory or will contain misleading information about the mail-in-voting and COVID-19 will be labeled and removed. Besides, after 3rd November, the company will ban all the political ads in the US too.

Photo: Getty Images

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