Facebook announces ban on midterm voting disinformation

Facebook announced that it is taking new steps to prevent voter suppression by banning fake voting requirement information and hoax reports of violence at polling stations ahead of next month's midterm elections.

The move comes as a part of a broader plan from Facebook to remove voter misinformation. Last month, the company said that it would begin banning “misrepresentations about how to vote, such as claims that you can vote by text message, and statements about whether a vote will be counted.”

The social media giant also previously introduced a new tool, labeled “Incorrect voting information," to let users flag election false reports in its content.

The new policies are aimed at curbing misinformation that spread during the 2016 election. Posts that went viral on Twitter and Reddit as well as Facebook falsely claimed that voters could text their votes instead of going to the polls and gave incorrect dates for voting.

Reddit and Twitter have both launched their own efforts to curb misinformation on their platforms.

Facebook has struggled to strike a balance in ridding its content of false reports.

It initially hesitated on banning Infowars founder Alex Jones, despite his work in spreading several conspiracy theories, including one that the Sandy Hook victims’ families were crisis actor. Facebook ultimately changed course when a wave of other companies, including Apple and Spotify, booted Jones and Infowars from their platform.