Social media giant Facebook is discussing whether to impose a ban on political ads in its network before the US election this November, consistent with news reports.
In late June, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), NAACP and other civil rights organizations began the #StopHateforProfit boycott that calls on major brands to stop advertising on Facebook to send the message that the network has become a tract for misinformation and hate speech. By cutting all political ads, Facebook could be making a move to pander to this boycott and underlying concerns about how misinformation is spread.
Honda, Adidas, Diageo and Hershey are some among the 397 companies now that had promised to avoid the social network’s advertising platform within the month of July, despite its power to reach targeted audiences. So far, Facebook has refused to tug ads or content in defenses of free speech. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook has repeatedly said he wouldn’t police political ads, but this boycott comes amid a novel cascade of worldwide events, including a worldwide pandemic and movement around addressing racial injustices, that might push the platform to make bigger changes.
Bloomberg made the initial report on the discussions. Facebook has declined to comment.
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone declined to discuss the internal discussions regarding political advertising at Facebook, but he didn’t deny a report on the subject by Bloomberg News Friday afternoon.
A person who asked not to be named talking about internal policies says that, The potential ban remains only being discussed and hasn’t yet been finalized. A halt on ads could function a defense against misleading election-related content spreading widely right as people prepare to vote. Still, there also are concerns that an advertisement blackout could hurt “get out the vote” campaigns, or limit a candidate’s ability to reply widely to breaking news or new information.
Both Democratic and Republican campaign officials have opposed this concept within the past, and President Trump has criticized Facebook and other technology companies once they have considered curbs on what he can say on their platforms.
Facebook doesn’t fact-check ads from politicians or their campaigns, some extent of contention for several lawmakers and advocates, who say the policy means ads on the platform might be used to spread lies, and misinformation.
Many parts of the globe have ad blackouts before elections. Facebook is taken into account as a key platform to succeed in voters and was cited as a reason for President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election victory.
Any potential ban has not been finalise and is simply being discussed, consistent with the reports. Facebook has been under attack for refusing to censor or remove political content, and so the ban could even be a technique to appease its opponents.