Facebook exec says company is preparing for Election Day chaos

Facebook has some “break-glass options” if November’s presidential election results in chaos, a top executive said.

Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global affairs, told the Financial Times that the social network has drawn up contingency plans “if there really is an extremely chaotic and, worse still, violent set of circumstances” following the vote.

Clegg did not go into great detail on the measures Facebook is prepared to take, but said the company was ready to “restrict the circulation of content” on its platform.

“We have acted aggressively in other parts of the world where we think that there is real civic instability and we obviously have the tools to do that [again],” Clegg said in the interview.

Facebook, which was a favorite tool of Russia to spread misinformation in the United States during the 2016 election, has been under pressure to explain how it will protect its platform this time around.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based tech giant is reportedly planning for 70 different potential scenarios and has enlisted “world-class military scenario planners” to help it prepare.

Facebook has already announced that it will flag content and posts that may be misleading, including posts from political candidates who have claimed victory in their election before it has been made official.

The company’s biggest names, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s top lieutenant Sheryl Sandberg, will be in charge of high-stakes decisions, Clegg said in the interview, adding that “the amount of resources we are throwing at this is very considerable.”


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