As we get closer to the 2020 presidential elections, Facebook is planning to ban ads that discourage voting. This was announced by Facebook's Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg:
"We also recently updated our policies so Facebook isn’t used to organize events that intimidate or harass people based on their race, religion, or other parts of their identity. We now ban posts from people who intend to bring weapons anywhere to intimidate or harass others, or who encourage people to do the same."
Social media giants have been used to spread misinformation about the previous elections. US intelligence agencies said that during the 2016 campaign, Russia conducted a wide-spread network impact campaign to help President Donald Trump get elected. Russia has repeatedly denied these allegations.
According to Ian Vandewalker, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, ads which tell people "boycott elections" disproportionately target African-American Facebook users.
In an article, Sandberg wrote that in order to protect the elections, Facebook assigned a team to ban those announcements which discourage people from voting, and said the new law will take effect in the US this year.
Mark Zuckerberg’s right-hand man added "We’re building a team dedicated to these census efforts and introducing a new policy in the fall that protects against misinformation related to the census. We’ll enforce it using artificial intelligence."
The new "don't-vote ban" policy is in the development stage and the company is seeking advice from voting organizations.
Another novelty will involve insertions related to family, work and credit, on which Facebook intents to prohibit discrimination. To this end, it will prevent advertisers from choosing who to watch their ads based on race, religion and sexual orientation, as well as age, gender, and place of residence.