Facebook announced that it would disallow edits to be made on ads connected to social, political, or electoral issues that have been approved to run during the midterm elections week. This is part of several steps the social media giant takes to build upon and expand what it claims to be its 2020 election “safeguards.”
Facebook published a press release penned by Nick Glegg, its Global Affairs President. In it, the social media giant boasted about the actions its undertaking to “protect elections online,” and not just in the U.S. but also globally. Today, the said platform is still a significant force in spreading the news to Americans and many other countries worldwide.
Facebook Tightening Moderation Before 2022 Midterm Elections
The Facebook press release read in part: “Meta invests a huge amount to protect elections online — not just during election periods but at all times. We spent approximately $5 billion on safety and security last year alone, and have hundreds of people dedicated to this work permanently embedded across more than 40 teams. With each major election around the world — including national elections this year in France and the Philippines — we incorporate the lessons we learn to help stay ahead of emerging threats.”
The social media company also mentioned that it would delete posts encouraging people to skip on voting or question the midterm elections’ legitimacy. It would also ban posts that encourage “misinformation about the dates, locations, times, and methods of voting; misinformation about who can vote, whether a vote will be counted, and qualifications for voting; and calls for violence related to voting, voter registration, or the administration or outcome of an election.”
Facebook also noted the significant amount of content it has already censored in its efforts to fight “hate,” which many have loosely used to suppress actual political discourse.
The press release continues: “Our teams fight both foreign interference and domestic influence operations, and have exposed and disrupted dozens of networks that have attempted to interfere with US elections. We’ve banned more than 270 white supremacist organizations, and removed 2.5 million pieces of content tied to organized hate globally on Facebook in the first quarter of 2022. Of the content we removed, nearly 97% of it was found by our systems before someone reported it.”
It should be noted, however, that Facebook’s algorithm can detect “hate” content automatically, with no user input involved. This remains in line with the World Economic Forum’s agenda to push companies to use sophisticated means of automated, AI-run censorship.