With the elections less than a month away, Facebook has released an update on its election preparedness tools. It includes information about the ballot counting and the Elections Operations Center.
The social network has announced new notifications to share in user home feeds in Facebook and Instagram. The goal is to keep people updated on official poll information.
“When polls close, we will run a notification at the top of Facebook and Instagram and apply labels to candidates’ posts directing people to the Voting Information Center for more information about the vote-counting process,” explains Facebook.
US President Donald Trump last month declined to pledge a peaceful transfer of power if he would lose the vote.
Facebook worries that the President may tap on his social media presence to assert victory or nullify the official results. And this may lead to civil unrest.
“If a candidate or party declares premature victory before a race is called by major media outlets, we will add more specific information in the notifications that counting is still in progress and no winner has been determined,” says Facebook.
The social network will provide official updates on the forecasts for the winner, as it comes available.
Voting Information Center
Facebook will also share this on its Voting Information Center to ensure all-out reach of its official notifications.
The social network will add notes on election integrity. This element has been heavily questioned by President Trump leading up to the poll.
“As we noted earlier this month, we are attaching an informational label to content that discusses issues of legitimacy of the election or claims that lawful methods of voting like mail-in ballots will lead to fraud. This label provides reliable information about the integrity of the election and voting methods,” adds Facebook.
Facebook will temporarily cease all electoral, political, social issue ads after the polls close. It restricts the spread of non-official updates.
Facebook will also ban new political ads in the final week of the campaign. And it will ban all posts and comments that call for people to participate in poll watching or any activity designed to scare voters or election officials.
Elections Operations Center
Facebook has launched its Elections Operations Center for the poll. It will gather subject matter experts within Facebook, including from its threat intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations and legal teams. Facebook has taken this approach starting 2018 with all major elections worldwide.
“Since 2016, we’ve built an advanced system combining people and technology to review the billions of pieces of content that are posted to our platform every day. State-of-the-art AI systems flag content that may violate our policies, users report content to us they believe is questionable and our own teams review content. We’ve also been building a parallel viral content review system to flag posts that may be going viral – no matter what type of content it is – as an additional safety net. This helps us catch content that our traditional systems may not pick up,” explains Facebook.
The Election Operations Center will monitor these trends to stop misinformation and protect the poll.