Facebook on Tuesday added a label to a post made by president Trump, which alleges that mail-in voting is riddled with fraud.
“Mail-in voting, unless changed by the courts, will lead to the most CORRUPT ELECTION in our Nation’s History! #RIGGEDELECTION,” Trump posted.
This marks the first time the social media giant is labeling Trump’s post for fact-checking. It added a label to the post prompting Facebook users to get accurate information about voting on usa.gov site.
Facebook has been at the helm of social media disinformation controversy, having allowed a horde of false information from politicians, especially the right wing, to thrive on the platform for long.
Advocacy group had last month launched a campaign to stop companies from advertising on Facebook as a way of getting the Silicon Valley giant to check cyberbullying, false information and racial abuse.
The campaign succeeded in getting many ad buyers, including Coca Cola, to pull out of Facebook for the month of July, causing the platform to lose a fortune and call for dialogue.
As the US election nears, calls to hold social media platforms responsible about information they allow have not been louder. Facebook said last month it will work to tame political disinformation on the platform by creating Voting Information Center.
“We are creating a Voting Information Center to share authoritative information on how and when you can vote, including voter registration, voting by mail and early voting.
“During a pandemic when people may be afraid of going to polls, sharing authoritative information on voting by mail will be especially important. We’ll be showing the Voting Information Center at the top of the Facebook and Instagram apps over the coming months,” Zuckerberg said.
Trump has made the list of political figures whose posts were labeled by Facebook since the announcement was made last month, including democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. But then, the development has questioned Zuckerberg’s earlier stand on fact-checking social media posts.
In May, when Twitter labeled Trump’s tweet over mail-in voting misinformation, Zuckerberg said it wasn’t right because social media platforms should be acting as “an arbiter of truth,” and he would not do that on Facebook.
His comment appeared to have fueled Trump’s anger over the incident, that he intensified his threat to shut down Twitter. He even quoted Zuckerberg in his attempt to smear Twitter.
Zuckerberg’s sudden turnaround is believed to have stemmed from the pressure from advocacy groups. More and more companies are joining the boycott Facebook movement as the company and the groups failed to reach a consensus via meetings.
“Many of the changes we’re announcing today come directly from feedback from the civil rights community and reflect months of work with our civil rights auditors,” Zuckerberg admitted in a post last month.
Part of the changes announced include labeling posts made by politicians that Facebook would let up previously.
“A handful of times a year, we leave up content that would otherwise violate our policies if the public interest value outweighs the risk of harm. Often, seeing speech from politicians is in the public interest, and in the same way that news outlets will report what a politician says, we think people should be able to see it for themselves on our platforms.
“We will soon start labeling some of the content we leave up because it is deemed newsworthy, so people can know when this is the case. We’ll allow people to share this content to condemn it, just like we do with other problematic content, because this is an important part of how we discuss what’s acceptable in our society – but we’ll add a prompt to tell people that the content they’re sharing may violate our policies,” he added.
The CEO said Facebook is investing heavily in both AI systems and human review teams so hate speech is being removed before they are reported. He said a study from the EU showed that the company now acts faster and removes a greater percent of hate speech than other major internet platforms including YouTube and Twitter.