Facebook will disable new political ads a week before US midterm elections – TechCrunch

Meta loosely outlined how it plans to beef up its platforms for the upcoming US midterm elections on Tuesday, starting with political advertising. In November, the country will decide several key parliamentary and parliamentary races amid the deepening political polarization that social media has become synonymous with in recent years.

Meta, the company that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, detailed steps similar to the measures the company has taken in the past instead of suggesting many new ideas or areas of investment. That includes turning off new “ads about political, election and social issues” in the week before the vote on November 8. Ads that run before the pause will be allowed to continue running. but the company will disable most edits for them in the meantime, including any changes to who it’s targeting.

“Our rationale for this limited period remains the same as in 2020: in the final days of the election, we realize there may not be enough time to challenge the newly announced claims. offered in advertising,” wrote Meta Global Affairs President Nick Clegg in a blog post blog post. “This restriction will be lifted one day after the election and we have no plans to extend it.”

Meta may not have plans to extend the political ad pause, but it can still improvise. Facebook paused political ads on November 4, 2020 but continued prolong that blackout period next year, making only one mid-December exception for campaigns around the Georgia runoff election.

Meta also reiterates that it will not allow any post or advertisement that misrepresents key details about the voting process including the date, time and conditions for voting. The company also notes that it won’t allow misinformation regarding “the outcome of an election,” but its poor record of uneven enforcement around “Stop stealing movement” and groups that staged the violent attack on the US Capitol on January 6 called those measures questionable.

On Facebook, accounts and groups that promote falsely claiming that the election was “stolen” can post heavily and even organize after the election, easily evading a ban on a related keywords. The company only claims a more serious effort to prevent the spread of election misinformation after the January 6 attack.

The social media company is also interested in highlighting its investments in election protection, noting that it has hundreds of people working on concerns surrounding the election. 2022 and that it invested $5 billion in safety and security work in the last year, though that total is not directed toward election-specific work. The company did not mention that its dedicated election team, the civic integrity unit, has dissolution and redistribution across its entire workforce after the 2020 election. Facebook made the decision in a positive way at the time, but some employees and critics of the company raised concerns that issues Elections will be at the forefront.

While Meta predicts confidence in its political advertising precautions heading into the 2022 US midterms, it has not enforced similar safety measures elsewhere around the globe. . A new report from human rights organization Global Witness shows that Facebook has approved paid posts containing misinformation about upcoming Brazilian electionsincluding ads that publicize “false election dates, incorrect voting methods, and question the integrity of the election – including Brazil’s electronic voting system”.

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