Facebook has recently announced that posts from all presidential candidates and federally-elected officials that mention voting or ballots will have new labels that include the “Get Voting Information” CTA. Clicking the CTA will take users to a page on the USA.gov website that has all the different questions and answers regarding the voting procedure. Furthermore, the labels will be there whether the posts contain misinformation or not.
The announcement was made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a live-stream.
This new update is a major policy shift at Facebook, considering that it has always refused to add labels or warnings of any sort to posts made by politicians.
On the other hand, back in May, Twitter faced some trouble with US President Donald Trump after it added a warning label to his tweets. Twitter found that Trump’s comments on mail-in voting could be misleading people regarding the functions of the mail-in process, hence reducing voter participation. Mark Zuckerberg called out Twitter on its approach the next day, pointing out that social media platform companies needn’t be “the arbiters of truth”.
Since Zuckerberg’s criticism, Facebook has been facing backlash over its approach in this respect. Therefore, the current alter in Facebook’s approach shows that Zuckerberg is paying attention to the community’s remarks, and is ready to evolve the company’s approach to meet their expectations.
Facebook is, however, still persistent in its decision to not fact-check political ads, but with the current small change in its policy, one can say that it is at least trying to broaden its approach.
The update still needs to be debated over regarding its pros and cons. At least, users at Facebook are being well-informed about voting claims now. Moreover, Facebook is also aiming to increase voter participation by encouraging Americans to participate in the November poll via its Voting Information Centre push in the news feed.