luchezar/iStockBy WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Facebook is banning all new political advertisements a week before the general election with the hopes of limiting misinformation on its platform, the company announced Thursday.“The US elections are just two months away, and with Covid-19 affecting communities across the country, I’m concerned about the challenges people could face when voting,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement Thursday morning. “I’m also worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or even weeks to be finalized, there could be an increased risk of civil unrest across the country.”“This election is not going to be business as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy. 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 said.Zuckerberg said while he generally believes “the best antidote to bad speech is more speech,” there might not be enough time in the final days before the election to clear up false and misleading information.All currently approved ads will be allowed to run throughout the election cycle.Other steps Facebook announced it was taking Thursday include highlighting its Voting Information Center at the top of Facebook and Instagram, which will include video tutorials on how to vote by mail and information on voter registration deadlines for each state.Facebook said it would also limit the number of messages users can forward on the Messenger app and extend its work on partnering with elections officials to remove misinformation about voting.“I believe our democracy is strong enough to withstand this challenge and deliver a free and fair election — even if it takes time for every vote to be counted. We’ve voted during global pandemics before. We can do this. But it’s going to take a concerted effort by all of us — political parties and candidates, election authorities, the media and social networks, and ultimately voters as well — to live up to our responsibilities,” Zuckerberg said in his statement. “We all have a part to play in making sure that the democratic process works, and that every voter can make their voice heard where it matters most — at the ballot box.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
The mood of these Nigerians is understandable. Playing second fiddle to the same Argentina, a record fifth time, starting with Eagles debut defeat at the Mundial in USA in 1994, has sort of become an anathema. And in all of these defeats, only one goal separates Nigeria from the euphoria of victory. What makes this particular defeat more painful is perhaps, Nigeria was just four minutes away from making it to the knock out stage.With the South Americans in the Top 10 bracket of global football and Nigeria in the 49th, nobody expected them to fall so easily. Not with top players like Barcelonaâ€™s Lionel Messi, Manchester Unitedâ€™s Rojo, Manchester Cityâ€™s duo of Sergio Kun Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi, PSGâ€™s duo of Angel di Maria and Gionani Lo Celso, Juveâ€™s duo of Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, and several other top players too numerous to recall here. The Albiceleste were clear favourites to pick the second ticket after Croatia had topped the group going into the third matches with two wins.But the never-give-spirit in us gave several Nigerians here in Russia and elsewhere around the world the hope that miracle was possible against the Argies. And they held on to that faith. Not even Messiâ€™s brilliant early goal against Eagles could stop these incurable Nigerians from dream of a possible berth in the Last 16. Some of them chorused that after all, Nigeria defeated Iceland who held the South American nation to a draw.And then a part of Eaglesâ€™ Oyinbo Wall, Leon Balogun was fouled by former Barcelona defender, Javier Mascherano, inside Argentina box to earn the penalty beautifully converted by Victor Moses. That equalizer reinforced that belief that miracle was on the way. But all that was not to be as the experienced Turkish arbiter stood his ground that it was not a penalty despite television replay showing the ball bouncing off Rojoâ€™s left arm.At the end of 95 minutes encounter inside the St Petersburg Stadium, the Argentines who constituted 98 per cent of the 64,468 fans inside arena celebrated the way they have done in the previous encounters at USA â€˜94, Korea/Japan 2002, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.And so, all the grooves planned ahead to celebrate Nigeriaâ€™s triumph over Argentina for the first time at competitive level failed to hold. Top Nigerian artistes like Tu Face, Sound Sultan, Timi Dakolo and Oritshefemi among the Shaku Shaku artistesand several others including comedians in town for the Shaku Shaku dance party failed to hold. Instead, forlorn and angry faces replaced the excitement with which the few Nigerians here entered St Petersburg.With Qatar 2022 just four years away, only posterity can tell if the hoodoo surrounding the perennial agony inflicted on Nigerians will continue if Eagles &India themselves in the same group as the Albiceleste.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram DUROâ€™S RUSSIA NOTE…Everywhere you go here in St Petersburg since Tuesday night, what you see on the faces of Nigerians is annoyance and anger. They are yet to get over the Group D loss to Argentina here at the World Cup in St Petersburg.What you hear mostly from these Nigerians are: If only Odion Ighalo had scored that opportunity that came his way, deep into the second half; If only Turkish Centre Referee, Cuneyt Cakir, had awarded Nigeria a second penalty from the ball handled by Marcos Rojo inside Argentinaâ€™s box. Perhaps, Nigeria will not be home-bound now so early in the tournament.