Facebook Boss Mark Zuckerberg Says New Election Rules Will 'Definitely Apply' to Trump

Mark Zuckerberg says rules about putting accurate information next to Facebook posts about voting will "definitely apply to the president."

Speaking about the possibility Facebook could be exploited to circulate misinformation about the November 3 vote—including from President Donald Trump himself—Zuckerberg told "CBS This Morning" host Gayle King posts about ballots would be policed.

He said: "If people post content that broadly is trying to delegitimize the outcome of the election, either by saying things like, 'voting by mail will definitely lead to fraud' or you know... things that... undermine these democratic principles of methods of voting that we know are safe, then we're just gonna add some context to those posts."

When King noted much of the criticism about mail-in ballots was coming from inside the White House, Zuckerberg said he believed the comments to be "problematic," stressing that Facebook's new enforcement will "definitely apply to the president."

Due to COVID-19, it is expected that the U.S. will see a surge in mail-in ballots this year, with the knock-on effect being that the count could take days or weeks. The president has repeatedly claimed the process is untrustworthy and even "fraudulent."

On Facebook today, Zuckerberg said his platform is aware of the risks and announced the site will block new political ads during the final week of the campaign.

Mentioning declarations of early victory, the CEO stated: "If any candidate or campaign tries to declare victory before the results are in, we'll add a label to their post educating that official results are not yet in and directing people to the official results."

As the 2020 election approaches, Zuckerberg said Facebook will also add rules against "using threats related to COVID-19" to discourage others from voting.

He wrote on his personal account: "We will remove posts with claims that people will get COVID-19 if they take part in voting. We'll attach a link to authoritative information about COVID-19 to posts that might use the virus to discourage voting.

"Given the unique circumstances of this election, it's especially important that people have accurate information about the many ways to vote safely, and that COVID-19 isn't used to scare people into not exercising their right to vote."

The US elections are just two months away, and with Covid-19 affecting communities across the country, I'm concerned...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, September 3, 2020

The billionaire CEO specifically countered Trump's claims about mail-in ballots, which he has pushed alongside the suggestion the election itself could be delayed.

"I think it's important that we start preparing people now," Zuckerberg told CBS in the interview. "There's nothing illegitimate about taking a few extra days, or even weeks, in order to make sure that all the votes get counted. In fact, it would be illegitimate if we didn't make sure that all of the valid votes were counted."

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on "An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors" in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC on October 23, 2019. Getty/MANDEL NGAN/AFP