Facebook began adding similar links to posts about in-person and mail-in balloting by federal politicians, including President Donald Trump, in July.
These labels will link to a new voter information hub similar to one about COVID-19 that Facebook says has been seen by billions of users around the world. The labels will read, “Visit the Voting Information Center for election resources and official updates.”
Despite such efforts, Facebook continues to face widespread criticism around how it handles misinformation around elections and other matters.
The company has generally refused to fact-check ads by politicians, for instance, and a two-year audit of its civil rights practices faulted the company for leaving US elections “exposed to interference by the President and others who seek to use misinformation to sow confusion and suppress voting.”
The effectiveness of such labels will depend on how well Facebook’s artificial intelligence system identifies the posts that really need them, said Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Civic Media.
If every post containing the word “vote” or “voting” gets an informational link, he said, “people will start ignoring those links.”
Facebook expects the voter hub to reach at least 160 million people in the U.S., said Emily Dalton Smith, who serves as head of social impact at the company. The primary focus is registering people to vote, she said, but the information people see will evolve throughout the election season.