Facebook is preparing for the 2020 elections with a new voting information center that provides resources at the time and for voting, as well as updates from officials. The social media company plans to help register 4 million voters this year – twice as much as the estimated 2 million people it led in 2016 and 2018 – and on its platforms, including Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook, "relevant information" received.
The voting information center that appears above users' feeds is based on the same model that Facebook developed for the COVID-19 information center. In addition to resources for registering votes, postal voting and much more, Facebook says it works with representatives and experts in the state elections to record the latest local announcements.
“With so much of our discourse taking place online, I believe platforms like Facebook can play a positive role in these elections by helping Americans vote where it matters most – by voting. I believe Facebook has a responsibility not only to prevent voter oppression that disproportionately targets colored people, but also to actively support the well-informed commitment, registration and voter turnout of voters, ”wrote Mark Zuckerburg, CEO and founder from Facebook, in a comment for USA Today.
Facebook also announced that it now offers the ability to turn off political ads, a tool that was first introduced in early January this year. Over the next few weeks, users will have the option to "disable any social issues, election or political ads from candidates, Super-PACs, or other organizations that are subject to the" Paid By "political disclaimer. You can find this setting in the ad itself or in the ad settings of a platform.
In his defense of not reviewing or verifying political ads in any way, Zuckerburg remains firm with his freedom of expression argument, saying he wants to keep the platform as open as possible so voters can make judgments themselves. “Accountability only works if we can see what those seeking our voices say, even if we viscerally reject what they say. Ultimately, I believe that the best way to hold politicians accountable is by voting, ”he added in the statement.