Arriana McLymore, Reuters, June 30, 2019
Facebook Inc will ban ads that discourage people from voting ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, according to its second annual Civil Rights Audit published on Sunday.
Facebook pledged to put its new “don’t vote” policy prohibition into effect in the fall, before the 2019 U.S. elections on Nov. 5, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a blog post announcing the report.
Last year, Facebook expanded its policies against voter suppression by banning posts that spread misinformation on voting methods, election dates and times, and polling locations. Those rules include banning intimidation tactics such as misrepresentations on whether votes will be counted.
Facebook said the policy is likely to only apply in the United States in its initial release and will not include the policing of organic posts from users.
Ads telling people to “boycott the election” disproportionately targeted African American Facebook users, according to Ian Vandewalker, senior council at the Brennan Center for Justice.
The world’s biggest social network also pledged to introduce a new misinformation policy in the fall ahead of the 2020 U.S. Census, prohibiting misrepresentations of Census requirements or methods, it said.