Facebook will ban new political ads leading up to the presidential election

Mark Zuckerberg speaking
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Today, Facebook announced it’ll tighten the clamps down on all political ads the week leading up to the election on Nov. 3. It’ll also forbid other election-related posts moving forward.

In an effort to maintain the integrity of the election, Mark Zuckerberg announced that starting on Oct. 27 — exactly one week before the presidential election — Facebook will stop allowing all new political ads. According to Zuckerberg’s post, the ban is because Facebook may not have “enough time to contest new claims.”

Facebook will, however, allow existing approved ads to run, but nothing new will be approved in that last week.

On top of this limitation, Facebook will also limit COVID-19 claims as they relate to the election. First, it’ll delete any posts that claim you will catch COVID-19 by participating in in-person voting. Second, any post that uses COVID-19 as a deterrent for voting will have a link to authoritative information on COVID-19 attached to it.

Facebook will also attach an “informative label” on any post that attempts to delegitimize the outcome of the election. It’ll do the same to any posts that discuss the legitimacy of various voting methods, like claiming one type of voting is more prone to fraud.

Finally, if either candidate declares they won before the election is final, Facebook will add a label that links back to the official results from Reuters and the National Election Pool.

Why all these changes just two months ahead of the election? According to Zuckerberg, “This election is not going to be business as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy. That means helping people register and vote, clearing up confusion about how this election will work, and taking steps to reduce the chances of violence and unrest.”