Facebook will reject ads from Donald Trump and Joe Biden claiming victory before the winner of the US election is declared.
The change is an update to a policy CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on September 3rd, which banned political ads the week before the election, as reported by Fast Company. That policy would not have stopped Trump or Biden from running ads directly after the election. Either presidential candidate could have started claiming victory at 12:01AM PT on November 4th.
While the results of the presidential race are typically announced the night of the election, this year, the process is expected to take longer due to mail-in voting. Experts say that because more Democrats are expected to vote by mail than Republicans, Trump could hold a lead the night of the election but slip behind Biden as more votes are counted. This scenario makes it critical that misinformation about the results of the election doesn’t go viral before a winner is officially announced. While the new policy is not directed at Trump, fears about the current president refusing to concede could be behind the clarification.
“We will be rejecting political ads that claim victory before the results of the 2020 election have been declared,” the tech giant said in a statement to Fast Company.
In early September, Zuckerberg announced that the company would stop accepting new political ads the week before the election. “It’s important that campaigns can run get out the vote campaigns, and I generally believe the best antidote to bad speech is more speech, but in the final days of an election there may not be enough time to contest new claims,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
As part of the expanded policy, Facebook said it will also label posts that seek to spread doubt about the legitimacy of the election as well as content from political campaigns claiming a premature victory. The new rules are part of the company’s ongoing efforts to stop election interference across its platforms.