Last Updated on September 8, 2020
In a recent appearance on Axios on HBO, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg suggested that his company and “and other media” should work to convince the American public there is nothing illegitimate, strange, or suspect about the results upcoming presidential election taking days or weeks to be tabulated due to mail in voting.
Zuckerberg stressed that Facebook is preparing Americans to accept that election results may take weeks after November 3 to be tabulated, and explained that Facebook will add “informational context” to posts by any candidate who attempts to declare victory in an election before a media “consensus result” has been established.
“One of the things that I think we and other media need to start doing is preparing the American people,” said Zuckerberg, is “That there’s nothing illegitimate about this election taking additional days or even weeks to make sure that all the votes are counted, in fact, that may be important to be sure that this is a legitimate and fair election.”
Zuckerberg explained that Facebook will use “a bunch of of different messaging around that, just so people know that that’s normal.”
Then, Zuckerberg explained that “If one of the candidates, in any of the races, claims victory before there’s a consensus result, then we’re going to add some informational context to that post directly, saying that there’s no consensus result yet.”
In other words, if President Donald Trump were to declare victory in his reelection on the night of November 3, but Facebook and “other media” were to disagree with the results due to the belief that not all votes had been counted and those left uncounted could turn the tides of the election, Facebook would add information to any post by President Trump claiming victory.
Zuckerberg: "what we and the other media need to start doing is preparing the american people that there is nothing illegitimate about this election taking additional days or weeks to make sure all the votes are counted." pic.twitter.com/lGdnWMUzgm
— Zach Vorhies (@Perpetualmaniac) September 7, 2020
Zuckerberg then warned that “civil unrest” may occur between the time voting ends and the election is decided, or even after the new president is declared.
“I think that this is important because there is unfortunately I think a heightened risk of civil unrest in the period between voting and a result being called or after that,” said Zuckerberg. “I just think that we need to be doing everything we can to reduce the chances of violence or civil unrest in the wake of this election.”
Zuckerberg was then asked whether he believes Facebook would be blamed for civil unrest following the election, likely alluding to the blame levied at Facebook following the election of President Trump. The president’s campaign made massive ad buys in 2016 that dwarfed, but were complimented by, a small advertising purchase from Russians seeking to meddle in the United States election.
“We’re trying to make sure that we do our part that none of this is organized on Facebook, we want to make sure none of that stuff is happening on our services,” the tech giant explained. “But you know, the country is very charged right now, so I think regardless of what we do, there’s some chance that this happens across the country.”
In a recent war game featuring top Democrat and anti-Trump Republican leaders, former Hillary Clinton acolyte John Podesta refused to concede the election while role playing as Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, contesting the election results and planning a second inauguration in California. The war game, which led the country to the brink of civil war, was only ended when it became apparent that Americans would look to the military to take sides and determine the next president.
The United States’ top general recently came forward in a written letter to Congress, clarifying that the military would not involve itself in the presidential election.
“The Constitution and laws of the US and the states establish procedures for carrying out elections, and for resolving disputes over the outcome of elections,” wrote Milley in a letter sent to two members of Congress. “I do not see the US military as part of this process.”
Milley continued, “In the event of a dispute over some aspect of the elections, by law U.S. courts and the U.S. Congress are required to resolve any disputes, not the U.S. Military.”
“I believe deeply in the principle of an apolitical U.S. military.”
It is unclear whether either President Trump or Biden will be able to secure a large majority enough of votes on election day that the increase in votes returned by mail due to COVID-19 fears and laws will not slow down the election results.