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“Facebook Protect” launched last October to help candidates and election officials secure their accounts on both Facebook and Instagram. The free service promises quicker and more active account monitoring than standard users receive, including the flagging of unusual login locations or unverified devices. Once a single account associated with a campaign or election administrator is flagged, Facebook says it will take action to protect any accounts also affiliated with the same organization.

In August, Facebook also launched its “US 2020 Voting Information Center,” designed to help users learn if they’re registered to vote, where their polling places are and what their state’s absentee options are. Voters can register and request absentee ballots from links on the site and receive “voting alerts” from state and local election authorities, which the company said could be valuable in communicating last minute changes to polling places or election processes.

And while misinformation and disinformation remain rampant on its platform, Facebook has in recent weeks taken stronger action to delete pages associated with conspiracy theories and the coronavirus pandemic, and has also flagged posts by President Donald Trump urging his supporters to vote twice, which is illegal. The company announced earlier this month that it would also block all new political advertising for a week before the Nov. 3 election to reduce the spread of misinformation.

Separately, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Pricilla Chan, announced Sept. 1 that they will spend $300 million on staffing, training and equipping local election officials personal protective equipment and tools to process ballots and applications for the upcoming presidential election. The vast majority of the donation, $250 million, will go toward the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a nonpartisan nonprofit that will administer the funding to localities. The other $50 million will go toward the Center for Election Innovation and Research, another nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to increasing voter turnout and combatting the kind of disinformation spread by Facebook.
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