US 2020 elections could spark off civil unrest, warns FB chief Zuckerberg

30th October 2020

30th October 2020

"I'm worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or weeks to be finalized there is a risk of civil unrest," said Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg's concern about civil unrest is because US election votes will be tallied and it might be possible that social networks are misused in suppressing voters which allegedly happened four years ago.

Political ads on Facebook were banned as rival parties complained that the ads undermined their campaign efforts.

Political advertising rules have been made strict by California-based Facebook before the polls.

Confusion early this week over political ads at Facebook marred the onset of what was supposed to be a cooling-off period ahead of the US presidential election November 3.

Rival parties complained Facebook was undermining campaign efforts after blunders arose around a ban on new paid political ads being published in the week before Election Day.

"We're investigating the issues of some ads being paused incorrectly, and some advertisers having trouble making changes to their campaigns," Facebook product manager Rob Leathern said in a tweet when the ban kicked in Tuesday.

Political ad publishers can sidestep the ban by getting the advertisements loaded into Facebook prior to the deadline, and then disseminating them to a wider audience later.

California-based Facebook has tightened its rules on political advertising ahead of the 2020 election in other ways too, including prohibiting attempts to undermine the electoral process.

In the Facebook paid posts library -- a list viewable by the public -- for President Donald Trump's campaign, what appeared to be a victory ad is already visible.

And on Tuesday, senior media advisor for Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden, Megan Clasen, tweeted a screen capture of a Trump Facebook ad showing a picture of the president and the message "Election Day Is Today."

But the former vice president's campaign had been told by Facebook they could not launch ads saying election day was "today" or even "tomorrow," Clasen said in the tweet.

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