Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg warns of Election Day-related violence, civil unrest
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, says the social media giant is taking steps to not contribute to potential nationwide fallout from the November contest
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sounded the alarm during an interview with Axios on HBO about the “heightened risk” of “violence or civil unrest” that could potentially occur during the time frame between election night and when the presidential winner is announced.
“I think the country is very charged right now, so I think, regardless of what we do, there’s some chance that this happens across the country. I just want to make sure we do our part to not contribute to it,” said Zuckerberg, referring to the civil unrest that might take place after the election.
The comments were made in a taped interview set to air on HBO Tuesday night.
Zuckerberg said that Facebook is “trying to make sure that we do our part” to guarantee that any post-election unrest is not organized on Facebook’s platform. The company is set to ban all new political ads in the week before the election, as well as upgrade its policies around voting misinformation.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, polls show that most Republicans prefer the ballot box and most Democrats are opting to vote by mail. A Democratic data group warned of the possibility of a “red mirage” in which Trump could appear to be winning on election night, resulting in him declaring victory. However, after the mail-in ballots have been sufficiently counted, Democratic nominee Joe Biden could end up as the winner, which could lead to Trump refusing to accept his loss and could also result in chaos erupting around the country.
During the civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Facebook came under scrutiny when it refused to block “Kenosha-Guard,” a self-described militia group and a Facebook event that encouraged a “call to arms” directly before two protestors were killed.
According to BuzzFeed News, hundreds of users reported the event to Facebook, but the company stated that the page did not violate their policies.
Zuckerberg later acknowledged that Facebook’s stance was an “operational mistake.”
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