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Facebook to restrict content to stop violence around Election Day

Facebook says it could aggressively restrict content if the US presidential election sparks violent unrest, according to the Financial Times.

Global affairs head Nick Clegg told FT that Facebook was looking at some of the best options available to us if there really is an extremely chaotic and, worse still, violent set of circumstances.

Clegg didn’t discuss what those options were. But he mentioned Facebook’s past use of pretty exceptional measures to significantly restrict the circulation of content on our platform, deployed in countries where there is real civic instability.

The company had drawn up plans for how to handle a range of outcomes, including widespread civic unrest or the political dilemmas of having in-person votes counted more rapidly than mail-in ballots, the report said, citing an interview with Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global affairs.

It announced in early September that it will stop accepting political ads in the week before Election Day, and it’s promoting its own Voter Information Center with authoritative information about how to vote.

Facebook will also place an informational label on posts that cast doubt on the election’s outcome or prematurely declare victory — an issue that could crop up if large numbers of people vote by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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