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Facebook considering ban on political ads

2020-07-10 18:32 by


Facebook is reportedly contemplating a "blackout" on political ads in the run-up to the US presidential election. The potential ban is only being discussed and has not been finalized.

Unlike Twitter, which banned political ads entirely last year, Facebook's plan would only limit ads for a few days. The proposed policy would create a "blackout" period that would bar political ads from the platform in the lead-up to Election Day, according to Bloomberg. It's not clear how long this period could last, but there is some precedent for such a policy. Many countries, including the U.K, have laws that bar political ads on election day or in the days immediately before.

The report comes as Facebook deals with a growing advertiser boycott, which now includes more than 1,000 companies, as well as a backlash over its hate speech policies. An independent civil rights audit released earlier this week was sharply critical of the company's political advertising rules, which exempt politicians from having their ads fact checked.

If a ban on political ads were to happen, it would be a reversal for Facebook and its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg. The social network has long allowed politicians and political parties to run ads across its network virtually unchecked, even if those ads contained falsehoods or other misinformation. Mr. Zuckerberg has repeatedly said he would not police politicians' ads and stated that the company was not an arbiter of truth.

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