Ringing alarm bells, Biden campaign calls Facebook ‘foremost propagator’ of voting disinformation – ProWellTech

Ringing alarm bells, Biden campaign calls Facebook ‘foremost propagator’ of voting disinformation – ProWellTech

In a new letter to its chief executive on the eve of the first presidential debate, Biden’s campaign criticized Facebook for its inability to act based on false claims about voting in the US elections.

In the vicious letter, published by Axios, Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon specifically identified a troubling video post that the Trump campaign shared on Facebook and Twitter last week.

Over the course of that video, the president’s son claims that his father’s political opponents “have plans to add millions of fraudulent ballots that can void your vote and overturn the election” and calls on supporters to “enlist now” in a “Trump’s election army security operation.” These false claims seem to have inspired some Trump supporters, who intend to keep the voting delivery sites and polling stations – a form of intimidation of voters that would likely constitute a federal crime.

When the Biden campaign (along with many others) flagged the video on Facebook, the company apparently said the content would not be removed, pointing to its small, discreet voting information labels that appear next to all posts related to the 2020 US election. The video remains on Twitter with a similar label.

“We were assured that the label affixed to the video, buried in the upper right corner of the screen where many viewers will miss it, should dispel any concerns,” O’Malley Dillon wrote in the letter, addressed to Mark Zuckerberg. .

“No company that sees itself as a force for good in a democracy, and that claims to take voter suppression seriously, would allow this dangerous applause to spread to millions of people. Removing this video should have been the easiest of calls under your policies, but it remains active today. “

In the letter, O’Malley Dillon also cites the president’s repeated attempts to undermine national confidence in the 2020 election with unfounded lies about the voting process, which is already under unique strain this year due to the pandemic.

Rather than taking a firm approach to limiting the extent of election-related misinformation from the president and his supporters, Facebook has remained largely hands-free. The platform is more comfortable advertising its election campaign and other politically neutral efforts to inform and mobilize voters. Facebook clearly hopes such measures will offset its current role in spreading internal misinformation from the president himself, but given the scale of what is happening – and his persistent failures since 2016 – that doesn’t seem likely.

“As you say,” voting is rumor. “Facebook has pledged not to allow that rumor to be drowned out by a storm of disinformation, but it has failed on every occasion to carry out that commitment,” wrote O’Malley Dillon. , adding that the Biden campaign “would recall those failures” over the remaining 36 days leading up to the election.

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