Yahoo Finance's On the Move panel discuss a Financial Time report that says Facebook will restrict content around election day to stop any violence.
JULIE HYMAN: And it's from the "Financial Times," which was reporting, after an interview with Nick Clegg, an executive at the company, that Facebook is going to take aggressive measures to, quote, "restrict the circulation of content" if the presidential election in November turns into chaos or violent civil unrest. Melody, this is a really interesting approach, and, at least on the face of it, seems to be further than Facebook has been willing to go in the past, not just in the US, but in other countries as well.
MELODY HAHM: Yeah, although that bar is quite low, Julie, I must say. I would classify Facebook as the most reactive and least proactive when it comes to actually curbing misinformation, false information, especially when it comes to global elections. The exact quote from Nick Clegg in the "Financial Times" was particularly interesting. He used the phrase that they're looking at, quote, "some break-glass options available to us if there really is an extremely chaotic and, worse still, violent set of circumstances."
What I think I take issue with, to be honest, is, it feels like a pinky Band-Aid on an open wound. This is the kind of thing where-- Facebook did make an announcement earlier this month specifically saying they would stop political advertisements the week ahead of the US elections. What does that really achieve? We're all consuming election content starting in April. This has been a countdown that has been in the backdrop, of course, taking perhaps a back seat to many folks as the coronavirus pandemic has taken so many lives here in this country.
But, at the same time, Facebook's sort of, you know, efforts, they're very piecemeal. They're not comprehensive. And even with that interview from Clegg, he did not detail what that can actually look like. This is more of this promise or perhaps vision that if things get so bad, we may have something in our toolkit. It kind of sounds like the Fed, right? Our arsenal is locked. You may not know what all those options we have are, but we do have some things at our disposal.
I'm just not particularly bullish or optimistic that they'll be able to execute those things in a timely manner. As we anticipate, even with the kind of unrest following a lot of the Black Lives Matter protests with the looting, with a lot of the sort of galvanizing and polarization across party lines, I do anticipate that that will be an inevitable reality, right, to a certain extent. So I would appreciate if a company like Facebook could actually proactively say, we will implement those measures, not we may, just because I do feel as though, unfortunately, the times we're living in, that feels like a reality that is bound to happen.
JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, it would be nice to know the specifics as well, instead of just trusting them that they have these tools-- these nebulous tools that you alluded to. Thanks, Melody.