According to Bloomberg News, Facebook is considering suspending all political ads on Facebook social media platform before the US presidential election this fall.
The social network is under tremendous pressure to spread misinformation and hate speech on its website.
Facebook has been strongly criticized for its policy that allows politicians to place false advertisements. CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried his best to defend his company’s position and argued last fall that banning political ads on Facebook is not a good idea.
- Facebook considers blackouts of political ads before the U.S. election.
- People familiar with the matter said the decision has not yet been finalized because the discussions are confidential and the company can continue its current political advertising policy.
In recent weeks, Facebook has been heavily criticized by users, its employees, and advertisers for criticizing Facebook’s misinformation and content policies.
In June this year, major civil rights organizations such as NAACP organized a boycott, which has expanded to include hundreds of companies.
The company vowed to stop advertising on Facebook in July until the platform takes action against hate speech and sexual harassment.
Political ads on Facebook campaigns often spend a lot of money on Facebook and have always been the preferred medium for disseminating election information to government officials, regardless of whether the information is correct.
Historically, Donald Trump has been Facebook’s largest spender, spending $2.2 million last month in just one week, but recently boarded Democratic presidential candidate Joe Bay At the top of Joe Biden’s list, he spent $5 million in just a few days.
Facebook has also formulated a policy that does not conduct fact checks on political advertisements, which critics call dangerous.
According to a Bloomberg report on Friday, the potential freezing of political ads will not affect the platform’s “quit voting” campaign.
According to Bloomberg Political advertising has always been a complex issue for online platforms, many of which use different approaches.
Twitter Inc. has banned most political ads, but still sells some “reason-based” ads that involve economic, environmental, or social issues.
In the days leading up to the November elections, Google’s YouTube had already sold advertising space on its homepage to the Trump campaign-this deal ensures that when people start voting, Trump will be highly visible in the video service.
— nell thomas (@nellwyn) July 10, 2020
Thomas said that Twitter’s ban and Google’s restrictions on political advertisements targeting voters made it “difficult to talk to voters at the grassroots level.”
She added: “Social media needs to fight the mess of information without taking away the main tool for voting.”
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment. Bloomberg News reported on potential policy changes earlier.
If political ads on Facebook are to be banned, it will be a reversal for Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg. For a long time, the social network has allowed politicians and political parties to place ads on their networks with almost no restrictions, even if these ads contain false information or other misinformation.
Zuckerberg has repeatedly stated that he will not oversee the advertising of politicians and that the company is not an arbiter of truth because he believes in free speech.
He also said that removing political ads from the Internet may hurt smaller candidates with fewer votes than well-known national politicians.
He said that political advertising is negligible in Facebook’s revenue, so any decision will not be based on financial considerations.
But this laissez-faire approach has led to strong opposition to social networks. Lawmakers, civil rights organizations, and Facebook’s own employees attacked it for posting hate speech and misinformation on the site.