Social media giant Facebook will “add a label” when US election candidates attempt to claim an unconfirmed victory on election night amid reports surfacing that the incumbent president will attempt to declare “early victory”.
It is unlikely that there will be an official result on election night as a large number of letter votes have to be counted.
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An unprecedented number of Americans (despite some attempts to prevent them) have voted in the mail due to long lines and large crowds on election day – usually a hassle, but now an existential threat from the coronavirus.
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While Mr Trump and other politicians could try to win on election night, Facebook won’t have it.
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has already announced how to ensure that his company is not used to spread misleading information about the election results or to sow doubt.
“If a candidate or campaign tries to declare victory before the results are in, we will add a label to their post stating that the official results are not in yet and alert people to the official results,” said he.
“There could be a period of intense claims and counterclaims as the final results are counted,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page in September, adding that the company was preparing to help after Tuesday’s vote.
Facebook’s Voting Information Center will “prepare people for the possibility that it may take a while to get official results” and “provide relevant information about the election results”.
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As with fact-checking, Facebook will rely on third parties to provide this information.
In this case, it is the Reuters news agency and the National Election Pool (a consortium of news agencies that polls polling stations).
The pool currently consists of (the American) ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News after Fox News and Associated Press left after less than accurate results in the 2016 election.
Trying to avoid a repeat of the chaotic 2016 US election and scandals that followed, Facebook has taken a number of new measures to prevent its platform from being used in ways that are detrimental to voting and democracy in the General could affect.
According to at least one former employee, Facebook is putting a greater emphasis on issues in the US – where it was founded, based, and can be regulated – than other countries it operates in, and the company will go out of their way to try that this time Ensure the integrity of the US elections.
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