With the US elections taking place next week on 3rd November, social media firms are trying to make sure that they aren’t the reason the elections are tainted.
To that end, Facebook’s Instagram has announced a rather notable change to how users discover content.
“Starting today, for people in the U.S. we will temporarily remove the ‘Recent’ tab from hashtag pages. We’re doing this to reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content that could pop up around the election,” Instagram announced on Twitter.
This change comes after Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg expressed concern regarding unrest in the US caused by the election.
One of the concerns the CEO raised was regarding the vote counting. As the elections are taking place under uncommon circumstances.
“Covid raises questions about how people will vote safely, which will lead to higher levels of voting by mail. I’m worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or weeks to be finalised, there is a risk of civil unrest across the country. Given this, companies like ours need to go well beyond what we’ve done before. That’s why we’ve taken additional steps to help people register to vote however they’re comfortable, to clear up confusion about how this election will work, and reduce the chance of uncertainty and unrest,” Zuckerberg said during a call with investors.
As you might recall, Facebook was at the centre of a controversy following the 2016 elections. Those elections were beset by foreign influence on Facebook’s platforms, whether the measures it has put in place to safeguard the 2020 US elections will be enough, remains to be seen.
“While next week will certainly be a test for Facebook, our systems have been tested in many elections over the last few years. Election integrity is and will be an ongoing challenge, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done here. I also know that our work doesn’t stop after November 3rd. So we will keep anticipating new threats evolving our approach, and fighting to protect the integrity of the democratic process and the right of people to make their voices heard around the world,” added Zuckerberg.