Facebook is tightening its rules on content concerning the U.S. presidential election next month, including instituting a temporary ban on political ads when voting ends, as it braces for a contentious night that may not end with a definitive winner.
The social media company announced a handful of updates Wednesday to prepare for the possibility that final results won’t be known immediately on Nov. 3. The suspension of political ads is similar to a plan Google already adopted in an effort to keep candidates and their campaigns from spreading misleading or confusing messages to voters. Facebook doesn’t fact-check political ads.
The company will also take a more aggressive stand against posts that appear to threaten or intimidate voters. Facebook already forbids content that could cause real-world harm, but is expanding its voter intimidation policy after President Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., have encouraged their supporters to guard polling locations to look out for nefarious activity.
“We need every able-bodied man [and] woman to join Army for Trump’s election security operation,” Trump Jr. said on a video posted online last month. “We need you to help us watch them,” he added, referring to Democratic voters.