Facebook will ban false voting information during midterm elections, report says

The new policy goes into effect leading up to the US midterms.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Facebook is reportedly banning voting misinformation leading up the US midterms. 


In an effort to battle voter manipulation on its platform, Facebook will reportedly ban misinformation about voting leading up to and during the US midterm elections in November. 

The company will ban "false information about voting requirements and fake reports of violence or long lines at polling stations," according to Reuters. Facebook executives, including cybersecurity policy chief Nathaniel Gleicher, reportedly told the publication about the new policy. Election Day is Nov. 6.

The social network has been scrutinized for not taking more action against fake news and misinformation, including interference by Russian trolls during the 2016 US presidential election. Facebook has said it'd rather demote posts with misinformation than ban the source. 

"We don't believe we should remove things from Facebook that are shared by authentic people if they don't violate those community standards, even if they are false," Tessa Lyons, product manager for Facebook's News Feed, told Reuters.

In 2016, Facebook banned false information about when and where people can vote, according to Reuters. Now, untrue information about identification requirements and long wait times at voting sites, which might prevent people from going to vote, also won't be allowed, the report said.

Facebook's executives are reportedly considering whether to also ban posts that link to hacked material, as Twitter did earlier this month under a new policy

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook is pushing back against fake or misleading accounts, and on Monday removed 13 pages and 10 accounts "for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook in Myanmar." The company found that the entertainment, beauty and information pages under its investigation were actually connected to the Myanmar military. Around 1.35 million people followed at least one of the 13 pages, Facebook said. 

"This kind of behavior is not allowed on Facebook under our misrepresentation policy because we don't want people or organizations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they're doing," the company said in a press release. 

First published Oct. 15, 1:58 p.m. PT.
Update, 2:09 p.m.: Adds information about removal of pages and accounts in Myanmar.

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