Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Facebook readying ‘break-glass’ tools to restrict content if violence erupts after election

By Joey Garrison and Jessica Guynn, USA Today

WASHINGTON — Facebook executives said Tuesday the social media company is ready to implement “break-glass measures” to restrict content on its platforms if civil unrest and violence erupt following the Nov. 3 presidential election.

The preparations come as Facebook has taken more aggressive steps ahead of the 2020 election to limit disinformation on the social network than in 2016, when Russian operatives sought to further inflame tensions over hot-button topics such as race and immigration.

Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global affairs, told USA TODAY the company has engaged in meticulous “scenario-planning” on election outcomes that range from “benign scenarios to some extremely worrying ones.” He said Facebook has used knowledge gleaned from 200 elections around the world in the last four years to crack down on election interference and misinformation.


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