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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook announced Thursday that it will add labels to all posts from presidential and congressional candidates and federally-elected officials that mention voting or ballots, regardless of whether they contain misinformation.

Why it matters: It's the tech giant's response to scrutiny that it doesn't do enough to tackle voter suppression on its platform. Earlier this year, Facebook — unlike Twitter — did not take action against posts from President Trump that included false information about mail-in voting.

  • The labels, rolling out today, aren't a judgment of whether the posts themselves are accurate, but are instead meant to signal to Facebook users that they can get the most accurate information about voting by leading them to an official government website.
  • Posts that specifically reference voting by mail will link to an official government website on absentee voting.

The state of play: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new policy last month after complaints from civil rights groups and Joe Biden's campaign over the tech giant's lack of attention towards voter suppression efforts on its platform, especially by Trump.

  • The social network has since been caught up in a sweeping advertising boycott.
  • Zuckerberg has said repeatedly that he doesn’t want to remove newsworthy posts from elected officials, but would rather let users to make up their minds about the content by labeling posts that violate its rules.

The big picture: The effort is part of a larger initiative by Facebook to help register users to vote.

  • The company wants to help 4 million people register to vote in the 2020 election through labels and notifications that push people to a newly-created voter information center that provides accurate voter information.

What's next: Facebook says it plans to extend such voter initiatives to its other apps, Instagram and Messenger, soon.

Go deeper

Nov 9, 2020 - Technology

Verishop launches social media feed

Photo: Verishop

Verishop, the luxury e-commerce site created by former Snapchat chief business officer Imran Khan, is launching a social network within its app on Monday, Khan told Axios.

Why it matters: Verishop's aim is to create an online experience akin to a digital shopping mall. To do that, it needs to create a shopping experience that's much more social and curated than what's offered via eBay or Amazon's shopping experiences.

Georgia's Republican Lt. Gov.: No "credible incidents" of systemic voter fraud

Georgia's Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) told CNN on Monday that no "credible incidents" of systemic fraud or voter disenfranchisement had been reported to his office by the state's attorney general or secretary of state.

Why it matters: Duncan's assessment contradicts President Trump's baseless and unfounded claims that Democrats stole the 2020 election from him through widespread voter fraud and mail-in ballots. The Trump campaign is pursuing a likely doomed legal fight anyway.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Virginia attorney general fires Jan. 6 investigator from university post

McIntire Amphitheater at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has been fired from his position as the University of Virginia's counsel by the state's new Republican attorney general, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Democrats say the removal of Tim Heaphy from his post after some three years while he's on leave from the university to investigate the insurrection is likely "retribution" for the House probe — an accusation strongly denied by the office of state Attorney General Jason Miyares (R).