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Facebook to 'restrict the circulation of content' if chaos results from election: report

Facebook to 'restrict the circulation of content' if chaos results from election: report
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Facebook will “restrict the circulation of content” if the 2020 election results in chaos, the Financial Times reported Tuesday, citing a company official. 

The social media giant has prepared to limit what is shared if this year’s election devolves into civic unrest, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global affairs, told the news outlet. 

Facebook has formulated plans for different possible election outcomes including unrest or “the political dilemmas” of having in-person ballots counted quicker than mail-in ballots, Clegg added. 

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Facebook declined to comment to The Hill beyond Clegg's comments.

More Americans are expected to vote by mail than ever before in the contentious November election due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE has fueled unfounded claims that mail-in voting opens up the election to fraud, causing some voters to already doubt the results. 

Facebook earlier this month announced it would ban political advertisements in the week ahead of the Nov. 3 election in an attempt to prevent misinformation from spreading. The move is one of a series the social media platform said it was taking to “secure the integrity of this year’s election.”  

Facebook also committed to removing posts that allege people can develop the coronavirus by voting and add “information labels” to posts attempting to delegitimize voting or election results. And the company plans to flag associated posts if a candidate claims victory before official results are released, and direct users to correct information. 

"This election is not going to be business as usual," CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHouse Republicans urge Democrats to call hearing with tech CEOs Conservatives seize on New York Post story to push Section 230 reform Hillicon Valley: Trump refuses to condemn QAnon | Twitter revises its policy, lets users share disputed article | Google sees foreign cyber threats MORE said in a Sept. 3 Facebook post. "We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy. That means helping people register and vote, clearing up confusion about how this election will work, and taking steps to reduce the chances of violence and unrest."

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Facebook been criticized in recent years for not monitoring information shared on its platform more strictly. Democrats, in particular, have condemned the company for its policy that allows political ads to be exempt from fact-checking.

Twitter banned political ads last year, and while Google allows political advertising, it has instituted restrictions on who it can target.

--Updated at 12:29 p.m.