Shares of Facebook fell as much as 6% on Thursday after the company announced that it will ban new political ads in the week before the November 3 presidential election.
The move is part of a broader set of measures that the technology giant is taking to avoid election interference and encourage voting, Business Insider’s Shona Ghosh reported. The company faced criticism for its handling of the 2016 presidential election, when Russia used the platform to spread disinformation.
In addition to the ad ban, Facebook will delete any posts that contain misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic and voting, delete any premature posts from candidates declaring victory, and promote “authoritative information” about how to vote, it said.
“This election is not going to be business as usual,” wrote CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the Thursday post. “We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy. That means helping people register and vote, clearing up confusion about how this election will work, and taking steps to reduce the chances of violence and unrest.”
Facebook shares have been one of the large technology companies to benefit amid the coronavirus crisis and recession, as investors see it poised to withstand the economic downturn. On Thursday, other technology giants such as Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google parent Alphabet – the so-called FAANG stocks – slumped, weighing on the broader market.
Still, Facebook is up roughly 40% year-to-date.