Factbox - How social media sites handle political ads
By Elizabeth Culliford (Reuters) - Online platforms including Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google face growing pressure to stop carrying political ads that contain false or misleading claims ahead of the U.S.
By Elizabeth Culliford
(Reuters) - Online platforms including Facebook
In the United States, the Communications Act prevents broadcast stations from rejecting or censoring ads from candidates for federal office once they have accepted advertising for that political race, although this does not apply to cable networks like CNN, or to social media sites, where leading presidential candidates are spending millions to target voters in the run-up to the November 2020 election.
The following is how social media platforms have decided to handle false or misleading claims in political ads:
Facebook exempts politicians from its third-party fact-checking program, allowing them to run ads with false claims.
The policy https://about.fb.com/news/2019/09/elections-and-political-speech has been attacked by regulators and lawmakers who say it could spread misinformation and cause voter suppression. Critics including Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren have also run intentionally false Facebook ads to highlight the issue.
Facebook's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has defended the company's stance, arguing that it does not want to stifle political speech, but he also said the company was considering ways to refine the policy.
Facebook does fact-check content from political groups. The company also says it fact-checks politicians if they share previously debunked content and does not allow this content in ads.
The company also said it will not allow ads that advocate for a specific outcome on political or social causes.
"We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought," said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a statement last month.
Some lawmakers praised the ban but critics said Twitter's decision would benefit incumbent and hurt less well-known candidates.
Officials from the Trump campaign, which is out-spending its Democratic rivals on Facebook and Google ads, called the ban "dumb" but also said it would have little effect on the president's strategy.
The overall political ad spend for the 2018 U.S. midterm elections on Twitter was less than $3 million, Twitter’s Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal said.
"Twitter from an advertising perspective is not a player at all. Facebook and Google are the giants in political ads," said Steve Passwaiter, vice president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group at Kantar Media.
Google and its video-streaming service YouTube prohibit certain kinds of misrepresentation https://support.google.com/adspolicy/answer/6020955?hl=en&ref_topic=1626336 in ads, such as misinformation about public voting procedures or incorrect claims that a public figure has died.
However, Google does not have a wholesale ban on politicians running false or misleading ads.
In October, when former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign asked the company to take down a Trump campaign ad that it said contained false claims, a Google spokeswoman told Reuters it did not violate the site's policies.
YouTube has started adding links and information from Wikipedia to give users more information around sensitive content such as conspiracy theory videos, but a spokeswoman said this program does not relate to ads.
The company, which recently joined Facebook, Twitter and Google in launching a public database of its political ads, defines political ads as including election-related, advocacy and issue ads.
Snap does not ban "attack" ads in general, but its policy https://www.snap.com/en-US/ad-policies/political does prohibit attacks relating to a candidate's personal life.
The Chinese-owned video app popular with U.S. teenagers does not permit political advertising on the platform.
In an October blog post https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/understanding-our-policies-around-paid-ads, TikTok said that the company wants to make sure the platform continues to feel "light-hearted and irreverent."
"The nature of paid political ads is not something we believe fits the TikTok platform experience," wrote Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s vice president of global business solutions.
The app, which is owned by Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance, has recently come under scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers over concerns the company may be censoring politically sensitive content, and raising questions about how it stores personal data.
Social network Reddit allows ads related to political issues and it allows ads from political candidates at the federal level, but not for state or local elections.
It also does not allow ads about political issues, elections or candidates outside of the United States.
The company says https://www.reddithelp.com/en/categories/advertising/policy-guidelines/reddit-advertising-policy all political ads must abide by its policies that forbid "deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising" and that prohibit "content that depicts intolerant or overly contentious political or cultural topics or views."
LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft Corp
Search engine Bing, which is also owned by Microsoft, does not allow ads with political or election-related content.
Photo-sharing site Pinterest Inc
This includes advertising for political candidates, political action committees (PACs), legislation, or political issues with the intent to influence an election, according to the site's ads policy. https://policy.pinterest.com/en/advertising-guidelines
"We want to create a positive, welcoming environment for our Pinners and political campaign ads are divisive by nature," said Pinterest spokeswoman Jamie Favazza, who told Reuters the decision was also part of the company’s strategy to address misinformation.
A spokeswoman for Twitch told Reuters the live-streaming gaming network does not allow political advertising.
The site does not strictly ban all issue-based advertising but the company considers whether an ad could be seen as "political" when it is reviewed, the spokeswoman said.
Twitch, which is owned by Amazon.com Inc
(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; additional reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Robert Birsel and Bill Berkrot)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
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