Facebook and Instagram unveiled a new voter information center. 


Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook and its photo service Instagram launched a new online hub Thursday that allows users to find information about voting, a tool that the social networks hope will help them combat election misinformation.

Misinformation on social networks has been a top concern after Russian trolls used these sites to post content that aimed to sow discord among Americans during the 2016 US presidential election. Facebook has also been under fire for not sending posts from politicians, including President Donald Trump, to fact-checkers. The company has been trying to tackle misinformation about the novel coronavirus and elections by directing users to reliable sources.

“By providing clear, accurate and authoritative information to people, we will continue to reduce the ability of malicious networks to take advantage of uncertainty around the pandemic to interfere with the election,” said Naomi Gleit, who oversees product management and social impact, in a blog post. 

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Facebook’s voting information center includes a way to check if you’re registered to vote. 


Facebook

Facebook also plans to use the center to combat any misinformation about election results. On Wednesday, the social media giant said it will continue to work with other tech companies and US government agencies to protect election integrity. The social network said in June the new voting information center is part of the company’s effort to get 4 million people to register to vote in the 2020 US elections. Facebook, which has 2.7 billion users, called the effort the “largest voting information campaign in American history.”

The new voting information center on Facebook and Instagram includes a way to check if you’re registered to vote and a link to register if you’re not. You can also find information about mail-in voting, and check deadlines. Users can find the center in the menu on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook said the center will include information from sources such as state election officials and nonpartisan civic organizations. The center will also urge people to sign up as state poll workers, which election staffers say they’ve been having trouble doing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook is also launching a new feature designed to help state and local election officials alert the public about updates regarding voting. 

The center will have a section called Facts About Voting that features news articles about the election and voting. The Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, DC, think tank, will provide Facebook with these facts.

Last month, Facebook also started labeling posts from federal officials about voting, directing users to more information about the topic. The label has appeared below the posts of Trump and of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and it’s directed users to a USA.gov website about voting.

The Biden campaign criticized the labeling because Trump’s post said mail-in voting would lead to the “most CORRUPT ELECTION in our Nation’s History!” while Biden’s post said people should “vote Donald Trump out this November.” Fact-checker Snopes reported that claims that mail-in voting “substantially” increased the risk of voter fraud were “mostly false.” 

Facebook said it’s expanding the labeling to posts about voting in the US on the main social network and on Instagram. The labels will direct people to the new voter information center.

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