Facebook has announced that it will not take on any new political ads in the seven days prior to the US election on 3 November.
Its chief Mark Zuckerberg revealed the measure in a Facebook post. He said that he was “worried” about divisions in the country potentially leading to civil unrest.
He added that Facebook would also label posts from candidates attempting to declare victory before the votes had been counted.
The social network has faced criticism for allowing political ads to be “micro-targeted” on its platform so that they are only seen by small communities rather than debated more widely in the days after they appear.
“This election is not going to be business as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy,” Mark Zuckerberg said.
“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,” he added.
Under the new measures, Facebook says it will prohibit politicians and campaigns from running new election ads in the week before the election. However, they can still run existing ads and change how they are targeted.