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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Facebook bans militarized calls for poll watching

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Facebook bans militarized calls for poll watching
Facebook bans militarized calls for poll watching

Facebook on Wednesday banned calls for poll watching that use "militarized language," as it tightened a slew of restrictions ahead of U.S. elections next month amid mounting alarm that unfounded claims online could result in violence.

Libby Hogan reports.

Facebook took new steps on Wednesday (October 8) to bat down worries around its platform and the U.S. election.

The company says it's banned any calls for people to watch polling sites that use "militarized language" or that "suggest that the goal is to intimidate, exert control, or display power over election officials or voters." Republicans have mobilized thousands of volunteers to watch polls for evidence backing up President Donald Trump's unproven complaints about voter fraud.

Voting-rights activists are concerned encounters at polling stations could escalate in a tense year that has already seen armed militias face off against protestors in some cities, much of which has been organized on social networks.

Despite Facebook announcing the ban, they also said they would allow a video to stay up of the president's son, Donald Trump Jr, calling for volunteers for an "Army for Trump".

The video was initially published in September.

A Facebook representative, Monika Bickert told reporters that Facebook's policies do not generally apply retroactively.

And that, "under the new policy, if that video were to be posted again we would indeed be removing it." Democrats have responded to all of this by hiring voter protection directors in more than a dozen states.

Facebook has also said it would reject ads that prematurely claim victory or suggest that official results are invalid.


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