not a judgment
July 21, 2020

Facebook has added a label to a post by President Trump amid growing criticism of its hands-off approach, though he's hardly being singled out.

Trump on Tuesday posted on Facebook a baseless claim that mail-in voting will "lead to the most CORRUPT ELECTION in our nation's history," and the post was soon accompanied by a label linking to "official voting info on how to vote in the 2020 US Election." This comes after Facebook recently announced plans to place labels on all posts about voting from politicians without fact-checking them.

"We are adopting a policy of attaching a link to our Voting Information Center for posts that discuss voting, including from politicians," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. "This isn't a judgment of whether the posts themselves are accurate, but we want people to have access to authoritative information either way."

Facebook posts by former Vice President Joe Biden, such as a message calling on followers to vote against Trump in November, have received the same label as Trump's. The label on Trump's post immediately prompted some criticism, with University of California, Irvine professor Rick Hasen writing that it "seems pretty useless" and it "might even seem that Facebook is endorsing what Trump is saying."

Facebook has been under fire, and facing an advertiser boycott, over the way it handles hate speech and misinformation, and an analysis by ProPublica recently found that Facebook is "rife with false or misleading claims about voting." Twitter in May started fact-checking some of Trump's tweets, linking users to "the facts about mail-in ballots" after Trump baselessly claimed they will be "substantially fraudulent" in November.

In addition to the voting labels, Zuckerberg also recently announced that Facebook will soon begin applying labels to posts from politicians that violate its policies but are left up because they are deemed newsworthy, though such a label has not yet been applied to Trump. Brendan Morrow

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