Facebook bans ads that seek to delegitimise US elections

The social media giant says it would prohibit ads on its platforms that suggest voting fraud or invalid election results.

Facebook also bans advertisements that 'praise, support or represent militarised social movements and QAnon' [File: AP]

Facebook has said it would not allow advertisements on its platforms that suggest voting fraud or invalid results in relation to the coming US elections after President Donald Trump refused to accept the outcome of the November polls in a debate with his rival Joe Biden.

The social media giant said in a blog post on Wednesday that the new rules will apply to Facebook and its photo and video-sharing app Instagram.

On Tuesday, Trump used the first televised debate with Democratic challenger Biden to amplify his baseless claims that the November 3 presidential election will be “rigged.”

Trump has been especially critical of mail-in ballots, and he cited a number of small unrelated incidents to argue that fraud was already happening at scale.

Facebook has been under fire for refusing to fact-check political advertisements more broadly and for rampant organic misinformation.

Advertisements aimed at immigrants

Citing hate speech rules, it also moved on Wednesday to remove Trump’s campaign advertisements suggesting that immigrants could be a significant source of coronavirus infections.

Facebook said the new election advertisement prohibition would include those that “portray voting or census participation as useless/meaningless” or that “delegitimise any lawful method or process of voting or voting tabulation … as illegal, inherently fraudulent or corrupt.”

Facebook also cited the ones that call an election fraudulent or corrupt because the result was unclear on election night or because ballots received afterwards were still being counted.

The company added that as of September 29, it has banned advertisements that “praise, support or represent militarised social movements and QAnon” from its platform.

QAnon followers espouse an intertwined series of beliefs, based on anonymous web postings from “Q,” who claims to have insider knowledge of the Trump administration.

Starting from Wednesday, Facebook will direct people to credible child safety resources when they search for certain child safety hashtags, as QAnon supporters are increasingly using the issue and hashtags such as #savethechildren to recruit, the social media company said.

Source: News Agencies