Facebook has a number of options it could take including “slowing the spread of viral content and lowering the bar for suppressing potentially inflammatory posts” and “tweaking the news feed to change what types of content users see,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
However, the social media colossus only plans to put these restrictions in place in the event of election-related violence (something many others are fearful of and preparing for). However, during a staff meeting CEO Mark Zuckerberg said “a decisive victory from someone” could “be helpful for clarity and for not having violence or civil unrest after the election” which would reduce Facebook’s need to step in.
However, if deployed, the measures “could suppress some good-faith political discussion.”
Facebook developed the tools after a United Nations report found that the platform had been used to organize violence and other human rights abuses against Muslims in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The plot against Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer which was foiled by the FBI earlier this month was partially planned on Facebook, according to reports.
The platform drew cries of censorship from Republicans earlier in October when it reduced users’ ability to share widely disputed reports about the business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Facebook has drawn similar complaints by banning accounts and pages associated with election and coronavirus misinformation, the Qanon conspiracy theory and the Boogaloo movement, an anti-government militia that wishes to stoke a civil war.
After seeing what political discussion looks like on Facebook, we think they should shut down politic-related content completely. It does way more harm than good.