NATIONWIDE — Facebook users this week began receiving a notice concerning changes to terms of service that are slated to take effect on October 1, just a little more than a month out from Election Day.
While the notice is vague, it does note Facebook will remove posts and restrict access in some instances.
The notice reads:
“Effective October 1, 2020, section 3.2 of our Terms of Service will be updated to include: ‘We also can remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook.'”
Exactly what that means and what content will be scrutinized remains to be seen. Some have speculated that the update concerns political posts. Facebook and other platforms have been criticized for failing to sufficiently moderate posts containing false information, particularly during the 2016 election cycle.
One critic on Twitter likened the move to censorship: “Facebook is warning users about this upcoming change to their Terms of Service. I guess they’re upping their censorship powers.”
Others have speculated that the update concerns Facebook recently threatening to block Australian publishers and individuals from sharing news stories on its platform. An Australian measure could require Facebook to compensate media organizations for use of their stories.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.