October 28, 2020

Facebook to prepare users for mail-in voting for 2020 election

Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg leaves after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France on May 10, 2019.

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Facebook is preparing for the United States to rely on mail-in voting for the 2020 presidential election and will educate users on the process, in an effort to get ahead of potential disinformation.

The social media platform has planned a curriculum around “getting people ready for the fact that there’s a high likelihood that it takes days or weeks to count this — and there’s nothing wrong or illegitimate about that,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a New York Times interview

Facebook could also implement new rules around premature claims of victory or other results, he added. 

Dozens of states have expanded vote-by-mail access, as the coronavirus continues to spread in the U.S. Vote by mail will give people a safe way to cast a ballot in November. But, it will take much longer for results to be tallied than on a typical Election Day. 

However, disinformation could surge on social media platforms with new election changes. Some Republican politicians have objected to expanding access to mail-in ballots. President Donald Trump has even said, for example, that results will be “inaccurate” and “fraudulent.” 

Social media platforms, including Facebook, have flagged some of the president’s claims surrounding mail-in voting and redirected users to voting information. Zuckerberg told the Times that Facebook will pull results from wire services to provide accurate information on the election.

Read the full New York Times column here. 

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