Facebook weighs ‘kill switch’ for political ads after the November election

Platform News: Facebook on a smartphone

Facebook is considering halting political advertisements after US Election Day to curtail post-election misinformation, a source who has had discussions with the social media giant has said.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak for Facebook, said the company has talked with experts about possible election scenarios, including the possibility of US President Donald Trump with the platform to dispute election results.


The New York Times reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources, that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and some key company executives met daily about how to minimise ways that the system could be used to dispute the election and have discussed the choice of a political ads “kill switch” after the election on November the 3rd.

Last year, smaller rival Twitter banned political advertisements, but Facebook has maintained that it does not need to stifle political speech.

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Twitter told journalists at our partner news agency Reuters that it was likely for an election period that effectively continued to Inauguration Day in January and for misinformation policies to cover any distinctive scenarios.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement: “President Trump will continue to work to ensure the security and integrity of our elections.”

“The lengths to which Big Tech will go to obstruct President Trump truly know no bounds,” said Trump campaign spokeswoman Samantha Zager.

“Facebook is a social media website — not the arbiter of election results.”

Twitter lately has placed fact-checking and warning labels on tweets from President Trump, unlike Facebook.

In June, Facebook began labelling all posts and advertisements about voting with links to authoritative information, including those from politicians.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in London, England and Neha Malara in Bengaluru. Editing by Maju Samuel, Vinay Dwivedi and Cynthia Osterman.

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