Facebook expands policies on voter suppression

San Francisco: With the US mid-term elections looming, Facebook has announced to expand its policies against voter suppression — action that is designed to deter or prevent people from voting.

The social media platform has banned “misrepresentations about how to vote, such as claims that you can vote by text message, and statements about whether a vote will be counted.

“We’ve also introduced a new reporting option on Facebook so that people can let us know if they see voting information that may be incorrect, and have set up dedicated reporting channels for state election authorities so that they can do the same,” Jessica Leinwand, Public Policy Manager at Facebook said in a blog post on Monday.

The company recently prohibited offers to buy or sell votes as well as misrepresentations about the dates, locations, times and qualifications for casting a ballot.

“People can now let us know if they see aincorrect voting info’ on Facebook,” Leinwand added.

In the case where some posts may require additional review, Facebook will send content to its third-party fact-checkers.

“Content that is rated false will be ranked lower in News Feed, and accompanied by additional information written by our fact-checkers (what we call, Related Articles) on the same subject,a she noted.

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in 2016, “we were not prepared for the coordinated information operations we now regularly face”.

“But we have learned a lot since then and have developed sophisticated systems that combine technology and people to prevent election interference on our services,” he added in a recent post.