On Monday morning, Trump continued his ongoing effort to win the 2020 election by voter suppression with a Facebook post slamming Americans who want to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.
“IF YOU CAN PROTEST IN PERSON, YOU CAN VOTE IN PERSON!” Trump’s post reads.
Right below that snarky attack on Black Lives Matter protesters, Facebook added a very prominent link directing users to the social media platform’s voting information center — a page with links on how to request a mail-in ballot, register to vote and volunteer to be a poll worker.
When Facebook’s little addition drew notice on Twitter, one user pointed out the ridiculousness of Trump’s post in a simple comment:
And you take just as big a chance of being exposed to COVID-19 doing either. Difference: You can't mail in a protest.
— Dave Molter Music (@molter_dave) August 19, 2020
Facebook’s decision to add a link to Trump’s post — which offers users pragmatic information that contradicts the president’s words — is especially significant considering the role the company played in the 2016 presidential election.
The social media giant came under intense scrutiny when reports revealed that it had effectively aided the Trump campaign by allowing the spread of misinformation, often created by Russian bots. The platform also allowed Cambridge Analytica — a political consulting firm eventually hired by the Trump campaign — to gain unauthorized access to the data of more than 50 million Facebook users prior to the election.
Facebook’s effort to provide its users with more balanced and factual information comes about a week after Trump seemed to admit that he is trying to undermine the U.S. Postal Service’s ability to deliver ballots by blocking funding for the agency. Many Americans want to cast their ballots by mail and many state governments want to facilitate that in light of the ongoing pandemic.
“Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump told Fox Business last week. “But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.”
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