Facebook already registered more voters than in 2016 and 2018

  • Facebook estimates that it has helped 2.5 million Americans register to vote for the 2020 elections, the company announced Monday.
  • That’s more than the 2 million people it helped register to vote in both 2016 and 2018. Facebook’s goal is to help 4 million people to register to vote this year.
  • The company has ramped up its get-out-the-vote efforts in recent months, but still struggles to combat misinformation about voting on its platform — including in Trump’s Facebook posts.
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Facebook estimates that it has helped more than 2.5 million Americans register to vote through Instagram, WhatsApp, and the Facebook app, the company announced Monday. 

That total surpasses the 2 million people it helped to register in both 2016 and 2018, according to Facebook’s numbers. Facebook’s goal is to help get 4 million people registered to vote before the November 3 election. The company recently launched a “voting information center” that appears at the top of American Facebook and Instagram users’ feeds to help the effort.

Facebook is grappling with its potential influence on the US election far more seriously than it did in 2016, when CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it was “pretty crazy” to assume misinformation on the platform affected that election’s outcome. Now, as it ramps up its voter registration efforts, Facebook is simultaneously struggling to remove false or misleading information about voting across its platform.

The company has policies against misinformation about voting, but elections experts have criticized it for failing to adequately remove misinformation — including posts by President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly falsely claimed that mail-in voting will inherently lead to a “rigged” election. Previous reports, including from intelligence officials, have stated there is no evidence to suggest mail-in voting fraud or interference from bad actors. 

Facebook has said that Trump’s posts that remain up don’t qualify as “voter suppression” under its policies. However, Facebook has taken action on some Trump posts, including messages from the president that encourage people to vote twice — the social network attached a warning label to that post asserting the trustworthiness of voting by mail.

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