Facebook is releasing a series of new steps to protect the November election amid reports of foreign interference and false claims of mail-in votes by President Trump and his allies.
Thesays it will, among other things, remove posts “clearly misinformation” about the coronavirus pandemic and the vote, and instead add a link to relevant information on both. Facebook will also stop accepting new political ads in the week leading up to the election and, through a partnership with Reuters, will add a label that will lead users to the official election results in case a candidate tries to declare victory before the final results are in.
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Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, are also donating $ 300 million to help strengthen. In the past, Facebook has been accused of promoting and even strengthening right-wing extremist rhetoric and enabling the spread of disinformation from foreign companies on the platform.
“The thing that I am very sensitive to [about] We are the ultimate decision maker about what is right and wrong and true and wrong in the world, “Zuckerberg told King.
Read part of their conversation below:
Gayle King: Do you worry about people?Publish information that mail-in voting is not so secure?
Mark Zuckerberg: One of the things we are going to do is post specific information on top of Facebook and Instagram about how to vote via email and how to do it exactly … but it is us I will also respond to content that people want to post there saying they are fraudulent. When people post content that, by and large, tries to de-legitimize the election result, either by saying things like, “The postal vote will definitely lead.” to cheating “or you know other things that basically undermine these democratic principles of electoral methods that we know are safe, then we are just going to add context to these contributions.
King: As you know, the President of the United States is one of the main critics of the mail-in vote. On your own platform, he said in May: “There is no way to capitalize zero”, “that mail-in ballot papers are anything but essentially fraudulent.”
… In June: “In rigged elections in 2020, millions of postal ballot papers will be printed by foreign countries and others. Be the scandal of our time.”
July: “The 2020 elections will be manipulated if mail-in votes are allowed to take place.” We could go on and on … How do you deal with the President of the United States? … to let him know and to let the people using your platform know that this is misinformation, right?
Pile of sugar: I certainly think anyone who says the choice will be fraudulent will find that problematic. And I think additional context needs to be added.
King: It’s not anyone, it’s not just a normal Joe, it’s the President –
Pile of sugar: That’s right.
King: – from the United States. Yes.
Pile of sugar: Oh, that will definitely apply to the President – once this policy is in place … and it will apply to everyone equally.
King: Did you have a personal chat with President Mark about his contributions on this particular subject?
Pile of sugar: I don’t think so lately. I’ve had a couple of conversations with him in the past … where I told him I thought some of the rhetoric was problematic … when I’ve talked to him, you know how – just how important it is is to make sure that people have confidence in the choice.
… One of the things I am very concerned about … as it may take longer to count the votes this year, especially postal votes … there is more chance of unrest and violence after the elections. Some people expected an answer as to who won the election on election night. I don’t think we’re going to necessarily get this … And I think it’s important that we start preparing people now … that there’s nothing wrong with taking a few extra days or even weeks to make sure that all votes get counted. Indeed, it would be inadmissible if we did not ensure that all valid votes are counted.
King: So what are you going to do on election night if a candidate says “I won” if not all of the votes have been cast?
Pile of sugar: So we are using a directive. We have a partnership with Reuters … and if someone tries to declare victory ahead of time, be it a presidential election or one of the others – before there is consensus on who won that election – we will add context and a label This post states: “There is no official result for this election.”
And direct people to the voting information center where we have the list of all the official results that have been received.
King: Concerns about campaign ads on your platform? Are you thinking of adjusting your strategy about it?
Pile of sugar: Yeah … so thank you for asking for it. One of the new guidelines we’re announcing is that we will block new political ads and run ads in the last week of the campaign. I generally believe that the best antidote to bad language is more language.
But if there is a vote, if someone releases new information, if it is misinformation in the final days of the election, then there may not be time for this normal kind of debate and process … and that’s why I think it’s important in that had additional restrictions last week
King: You and I have discussed misinformation in political advertisements before. There seems to be some contradiction there. You will not question false political ads. However, you will challenge misinformation from candidates.
Pile of sugar: The thing that I am very sensitive to [about] means that we are the ultimate decision maker as to what is right and wrong and true and wrong in the world. There are a number of cases where we can rely on other authorities. In elections, we work with local election officials.
So if someone says, “Hey, don’t go to this polling station because the lines are very long” and the local polling officer says, “No, that’s wrong. It’s okay here,” then we take it off. This is voter suppression and we will remove it no matter who says it.
King: This week we learned that the FBI has alerted Facebook to Russian interference on your platform. What did they point you to that you didn’t know?
Pile of sugar: Well, over the past few years we’ve gone to great lengths to partner with the intelligence community and electoral commissions around the world, as well as the other tech companies. Part of the normal security apparatus now consists of sharing information and tips with one another. We were able to identify and disrupt this relatively early on between the existing partnerships with governments and other technology companies.
King: They talk about what you are doing on your platform to secure that choice, but it is also a personal matter for you and your wife, Priscilla. You both announced that you would be donating $ 300 million to do what exactly?
Pile of sugar: You know, there has been these recent debates about funding the U.S. Postal Service, and you know we’ve just had a lot of talks about, wow, is there anything we can do to help make the infrastructure go financed as it has to be.
… That they had the campaign workers they needed, including the ability to pay people a risk payment to come in … That they had PPE for all of their campaign workers … We donated two groups of $ 300 million to work with a A number of local counties and election officials can help ensure they have the resources they need.
King: I’ve seen you think about these things … I’m curious what keeps you up at night … I was thinking about the kenosha guard who was an armed militia you said – you admitted that it was an operational error, that was organizing through Facebook … What went wrong there? You know, you hear thatwas not a member of this group. But you got rid of it after the incident that shot three people and killed two of this 17-year-old teenager.
Pile of sugar: We’ve looked into it for a long time … and we’ve labeled him a mass murderer and we wrote down all of his accounts … through our investigation we didn’t find that there was any kind of premeditation or anything in his accounts that would suggest it that we missed a signal in advance …
Well, some people reported the group and we made mistakes by not shutting down the group when these reports came in. We took them down. It violated our guidelines. But we’ve been slow to do it … for militia groups like these … especially before these elections … we need to be more aggressive beforehand to make sure there aren’t any of these groups that could be activated and closed after the election Cause riots.