Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are donating $300 million to voting efforts – CNN

Good News Notes:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are donating $300 million toward enhancing access to voting in the United States.

The Center for Tech and Civic Life and The Center for Election & Innovation Research, organizations focused on improving the voting process, said in a statement Tuesday that the donation will ‘promote safe and reliable voting in states and localities during the COVID-19 pandemic.’

‘Many counties and states are strapped financially and working to determine how to staff and fund operations that will allow for ballots to be cast and counted in a timely way,’ Chan and Zuckerberg said in a statement. ‘These donations will help to provide local and state officials across the country with the resources, training and infrastructure necessary to ensure that every voter who intends to cast a ballot is able to, and ultimately, to preserve integrity of our elections.’

Facebook has been criticized for failing to rein in misinformation about the election and voting on its platform. The company has also been pilloried for its policy of allowing politicians to run false ads. Zuckerberg has strenuously defended his company’s stance and argued last fall that banning political ads would not be a good idea.

In May, President Donald Trump posted misleading information about mail-in voting on Facebook (FB), and the social network said it planned to take no action on the posts. Twitter (TWTR), by contrast, flagged several of Trump’s tweets about mail-in voting as potentially misleading — a first for the company.

‘We don’t believe that it’s an appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny,’ Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom and now a Facebook vice president, wrote in a blog postlast year.

Trump’s efforts to discredit mail-in voting is something Facebook is ‘particularly focused on,’ Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told CNN.

For example, Facebook pledged to take new steps to clearly identify state-run media for users and to better protect the accounts of political candidates and officials as part of a broader effort to prevent its platform from being abused to interfere with the 2020 US elections.

In January, Facebook Vice President Andrew Bosworth wrote that the Trump campaign’s use of Facebook’s advertising tools were responsible for Trump’s win in the 2016 presidential election. The company’s political advertising platform, he added, ‘very well may lead to the same result’ this year.”

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