Facebook Preparing for Potential Election Unrest, Implementing Emergency Measures Aimed at Curbing Flow of Viral Content, Inflammatory Posts

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Press conference at VIVA Technology (Vivatech) the world's rendezvous for startup and leaders. Paris, France - May 24, 2018. Photo credit: Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.com, licensed.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Press conference at VIVA Technology (Vivatech) the world’s rendezvous for startup and leaders. Paris, France – May 24, 2018. Photo credit: Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

NEW YORK, NY – According to reports, social media giant Facebook has implemented emergency measures aimed at potential election-related chaos brought about by the upcoming U.S. November elections between incumbent President Donald Trump and challenger and former Vice President Joe Biden – one of the most hotly-contested in our nation’s history.

The measures are to help curb the flow of viral content and inflammatory posts, utilizing internally-developed toolsets already at-use for moderating Facebook posts in other countries such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar. This is said to be done by slowing spread of specific content by “lowering the bar” for suppressing posts that are deemed “inflammatory” or “dangerous.”

Previously Facebook had been criticized for allegedly enabling human rights abuses for using these speech suppression tools in other countries with many sweating at the prospect of this tech being used in the United States. However, Facebook officials have noted that such actions would only come about if circumstances were “dire,” and that the company was simply giving itself as many options as possible to navigate the possible firestorm of reactions that the upcoming elections will likely produce – regardless of who wins – both before and after.

A Facebook spokesman issued a statement on the upcoming changes and what they will mean for users of the social media site, which currently has approximately 2.70 billion active users.



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“We’ve spent years building for safer, more secure elections,” they said. “We’ve applied lessons from previous elections, hired experts, and built new teams with experience across different areas to prepare for various scenarios. We’ve created new products, partnerships and policies — such as pausing post-election ads — to ensure we’re more prepared than ever for the unique challenges of an election during a global pandemic.”

Some commentators and media outlets have argued that Facebook’s upcoming changes may be a form of censorship and could impact – and even suppress – good-faith political discussion around the election.

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