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On Wednesday, Facebook said it would prohibit people from running ads on FB services that declare early victory for the November election. FB will reject all political ads before the official results of the 2020 election are revealed and news organizations have announced a winner, according to the social networking platform spokesman Andy Stone.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier in September that the company will be blocking political ads the week before the election, as reported by the Fast Company. The new policy would not have stopped Biden or Trump from running political ads directly after the election. Either candidate for the presidential position could have prematurely claimed victory at 12:01 AM PT on November 4th.
While the presidential election results are usually announced the night of the election, it is expected to be longer due to mail-in voting this year. According to experts, since more Democrats are expected to be voting by mail than Republicans, Trump could lead the race during the night of the election but slip behind Biden as more votes get counted.
This particular scenario can create misinformation on social media about the election’s official results before the official announcement of the winner. While the new FB policy is not pointed to Trump, fears about the current president not wanting to concede could be behind the clarification.
Facebook has been fine-tuning its rules for what campaigns, politicians, and people can say on the social networking platform out of concern that would cause a manipulation to spread false information or sow unrest.
The tech company has said that they are working with the Reuters news agency and with the National Election Pool, an association of news organization that includes NBC news, to determine winners in the November 2020 election.
Among the people who have expressed concern about the early announcement of election results is Susan Rice, former national security adviser in the White House during Obama’s administration. She said that President Donald Trump would have claimed a premature victory wrongly.
On September 3, Zuckerberg said that the tech company would cease accepting new political ads a week before the November election. The company will be adding labels to non-advertising posts that seek to declare victory, noting that official results are not yet in.
The news organization will be providing authoritative information about the official election results, Zuckerberg added. The new rules are part of Facebook’s ongoing efforts to curb interference during elections across its platforms.