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Meta Will Allow Ads Claiming Voter Fraud

Meta Will Allow Ads Claiming Voter Fraud

Sarah Hardacre
Meta updated its policy to allow advertisers on Facebook and Instagram to call into question the legitimacy of the outcome of the 2020 US election.

Advertisers will be allowed to make claims on past elections, but they cannot make any claims on current or future elections or discourage voters from participating in on-going or upcoming elections. This policy change follows an analysis of behaviors in past elections and “free speech considerations.”

Although the policy changed last year, it was not widely discussed until recently. This is only a part of a number of changes that Meta introduced to alter how it regulates the content on its platform relative to elections.

Other modifications include updating its algorithm to reduce the amount of non-advertising political content in feeds, particularly when displayed in a row. Meta’s goal is to “make sure people see what’s most important to them.”

Meta claims to have invested more than $5 billion last year to protect the integrity of elections worldwide. It has hundreds of people working across more than 40 teams that include fact checkers and has designed a comprehensive election policy. It also has partnerships with governments, law enforcement, and civil rights groups.

Its election policies focus on access to accurate information, proper disclosure of content in political advertising, and protecting users from misinformation by verifying political advertisers and displaying the “confirmed owner and locations” of Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Most recently, Meta has announced it will require political advertisers to disclose when content is digitally altered or created and will not give access to its GenAI tools to political advertisers.

Meta is not the only platform investigating and updating its policies related to elections, particularly with the upcoming 2024 US presidential election. YouTube changed its policies in June and now allows content with claims relating to voter fraud in the 2020 election. After banning political ads in 2019, X (formerly Twitter) announced in August that it would allow this type of ads again.

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