With US Elections 2020 in full swing, Facebook on Friday suspended political and new group recommendations. CEO Mark Zuckerberg referred to one of the changes during a Senate hearing held last week, stating, “We have taken the steps to stop recommendations in groups for all political content or social issue groups as a precaution.” the step was taken after several watchdog and advocacy groups pushed for Facebook to control algorithmic group recommendations. They have argued that some Facebook Groups have been used as spaces to spread misinformation and organize the extremist activity. The aim here to fight the social media misinformation campaigns of foreign adversaries like Russia and Iran.
Social media platforms have been bee under a lot of scrutiny for content related to the unfounded conspiracy theory, which postulates that U.S. President Donald Trump is clandestinely fighting a global cabal of child-sex predators that includes prominent Democrats, Hollywood elites and “deep state” allies.
Mark Zuckerbeg went on to call US election 2020 a ‘test’ and raised repeated warnings of potential civil unrest.Unlike in 2016 election, when it became clear in the weeks following that Russian and other foreign entities had misused the platform and its reach to wrongfully influence the election, Zukerberg said, that this time, the company has designed best-in-class technical systems to tackle threats, and have simultaneously created new policies to handle civil outburst predicated during the election. The company has decided that it will label posts with premature declarations of victory along with links to commanding information.
The social network has hired external fact-checkers, investigators, and has added restrictions on political advertisements. It has also removed thousands of accounts, pages and groups it found to be engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behaviour.” These deleted pages and accounts include fake accounts and groups that maliciously target political discourse.
The platform also barred posts that denied the holocaust and joined Twitter in controlling the blowout of an unverified political story about Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, published by the conservative New York Post.
During the Facebook US Election 2020, the company had blocked new political ads before the election and all political ads during the week of elections. The CEO emphasized that, by doing so, he has not wavered from his beliefs in free speech— a nod to political criticism from the pro-free speech right. But, he said that the US election Facebook change was brought in to balance its approach to emphasize safety. He said, “To be clear, this is not a shift in our underlying philosophy or strong support of free expression.”
A Facebook spokeswoman declined to say when the changes had been made or how long they would last. Stay tuned to this page for the latest news and updates on US election 2020.