Real Facebook Oversight Board slams Facebook for ‘amplifying’ Trump poll fraud claims

The Real Facebook Oversight Board, an independent council critical of the platform, accused Facebook of “dangerously amplifying” US President Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud.

The group said Facebook’s labeling of Donald Trump’s posts are “grossly inadequate.” Unlike on Twitter, users could still like and share false Trump posts on Facebook.

“We’re on the brink here. This is a test of the democratic experiment and the time for Facebook to act is now,” said Jessica Gonzales, CEO of Free Press and member of the board.

“In the next week, they need to make absolutely sure their platform is not being used to organize, foment, or legitimize violence. They need to remove information that calls for violence and they need to stop its amplification,” she added.

Trump has falsely claimed he won the election despite millions of votes still uncounted. He also claimed, without basis, that there was massive electoral fraud.

The board denounced the spread of false election-related posts on Facebook, including a post alleging “surprise ballot dumps” that supposedly “started to magically disappear.” The post has been shared nearly 60,000 times and has received 161,000 comments and 575,000 reaction.

There was also a post of Trump's campaign claiming victory in Pennsylvania, a crucial swing state that could eventually decide the election in the end.

"This tiny label from Facebook is actively amplifying the spread of this disinfo and complicit in a premature declaration of victory," the board said on Twitter.

Another post claiming that there are groups “stealing the election” was shared 24,000 times.

Facebook earlier banned political ads but the board said it was not enough, citing problems with transparency.

News publishers are exempted from the requirements of disclosure and transparency on political ads – a loophole that the board said is being exploited by partisan groups. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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