Facebook is anticipating a possible unrest in the days following next month’s election and has assembled a team whose job it is to combat any election-related conflict in the United States.
The emergency measures being planned will include those previously used in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The measures involve deliberately delaying the spread of viral content and lowering standards to suppress potentially inflammatory posts.
While there will be no clear difference for site users on a daily basis, Facebook will implement a variety of internal tools to move risky materials further below the user’s feed, or block or remove links.
Facebook could also consider lowering the threshold for detecting the type of content their software deems “dangerous”.
Facebook executives who spoke to the Wall Street Journal said such a tool was only used in difficult circumstances, including election-related violence, but insisted that companies must be fully prepared for any event.
Ultimately, the tool will change what Americans see when they enter the site and reduce exposure, incitement to violence, and misinformation. However, it can also stifle some political discussions.