In a bid to protect election integrity, Facebook on Thursday announced dedicated centers that will connect US voters to accurate and easy-to-find information about voting ahead of the 2020 polls. The social network giant which earlier faced flak for failing to keep foreign players with malicious intentions away from its platform during the 2016 US presidential election said that the "Voting Information Center" will be available on Facebook and Instagram.
"It is also important that we help protect the integrity of our elections," Naomi Gleit, Facebook's Vice President of Product and Social Impact, wrote in a blog post. "With many states making changes to the voting process because of the pandemic, the center is also designed to help people navigate a confusing election process," Gleit said.
Direct Access from Facebook and Instagram
How does the Voting Information Center work? People can access the Voting Information Center directly from the menu on Facebook and Instagram. They can use it to check if they're registered to vote -- and if they are not, easily register through a link that takes them directly to their state website or Facebook's nonpartisan partner.
They can see if their state has expanded vote-by-mail options and request absentee or mail-in ballots from their state if it is available. Facebook will help people know if a deadline is approaching so they do not miss it. "In our Voting Information Centers, we link to and source information from state election officials and other nonpartisan civic organizations," Gleit said. "And we'll continue to work closely with state election officials through November to ensure the centers are updated with the latest election information in each state," Gleit added.
Combating Election Interference
Last month, the social networking giant started adding labels to Facebook posts from federal politicians discussing voting so that people have easy access to the latest official election information. "Starting today, we are rolling out these labels to apply to posts on voting in the US on Facebook and Instagram," Gleit said. Facebook said it has built some of the most advanced systems in the world to combat election interference, and it is always working to improve them.
"The Voting Information Center will be another layer in this line of defence," Gleit said. "By providing clear, accurate and authoritative information to people, we will continue to reduce the ability of malicious networks to take advantage of uncertainty around the pandemic to interfere with the election," Gleit said.