In September, Facebook announced that it won’t accept political ads in the week before the US Election. Their ban on political ads would only affect the ones submitted after October 27, 2020.
Recently, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communication, told French Weekly Journal du Dimanche that a total of 2.2 million ads on Facebook and Instagram have been rejected, and 120,000 posts were withdrawn for attempting to “obstruct voting” in the upcoming US election. In addition, Facebook has been posting warnings on 150 million examples of false information that were on Facebook and Instagram
Facebook has been increasing its efforts to avoid a repeat of events leading up to the 2016 US presidential election, won by Donald Trump, when its network was used for attempts at voter manipulation carried out from Russia.
There were similar problems ahead of Britain’s 2016 referendum on leaving the European Union.
According to Nick Clegg, Facebook has thirty-five thousand employees taking care of the security of Facebook’s platforms and contribute for elections. The company also has partnerships with 70 specialized media, including five in France, on the verification of information. Facebook also uses artificial intelligence that Nick Clegg says has “made it possible to delete billions of posts and fake accounts, even before they are reported by users.”
It appears that Facebook is putting in some effort to remove political misinformation, and also to reject unacceptable political ads. To me, this is a starting point that should have begun before the US primary elections and caucuses. Waiting until right before Election Day to clean up its platforms is too late.