Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the social media platform is bracing for “civil unrest” following the 2020 presidential election.
The tech titan said Facebook is trying to clamp down on misinformation ahead of the November vote because of the risk of an uproar in the days or weeks it will take to count all the ballots.
“There is, unfortunately, I think, a heightened risk of civil unrest in the period between voting and a result being called or after that, and I just think that we need to be doing everything that we can to reduce the chances of violence or civil unrest in the wake of this election,” Zuckerberg told Axios in an interview released Thursday.
Zuckerberg suggested that there’s a risk of violence breaking out after Election Day and that Facebook will try to stop violent events from being organized on its platforms, which include the eponymous social network as well as Instagram and WhatsApp.
“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,” he said. “I just want to make sure that we do our part to not contribute to it.”
Facebook announced several policies Thursday aimed at protecting the integrity of the race between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden in light of the fact that many people will vote by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic.
They include efforts to label posts from candidates claiming victory before all the votes are counted and a ban on new political advertisements in the week before the election.
The billionaire tycoon also said Facebook and other media outlets should inform voters that “there’s nothing illegitimate about this election taking additional days or even weeks to make sure that all of the votes are counted.”
Facebook shares fell 1.6 percent to $286.39 in early trading Friday after dropping 3.7 percent Thursday.