Facebook is reportedly mulling over changing its political advertisement policy

Facebook’s policy is to accept paid political ads from candidates without fact-checking them or censoring them, even if they contain lies.


Facebook has been under intense pressure lately to ban political ads from its platform with the 2020 Presidential elections next year. Facebook has come under fire over Russia’s use of its platform to spread misinformation during the 2016 US presidential campaign.

Facebook’s policy is to accept paid political ads from candidates without fact-checking them or censoring them, even if they contain lies. And Zuckerberg doubled down on that stand last month following Twitter’s announcement, reiterating that “political speech is important” and that Facebook doesn't want to interfere with it.

Facebook is reportedly mulling over changing its political advertisement policy

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Image: Getty.

However, after Google announced yesterday that it will restrict how narrowly political advertisers can target voters on its services, pressure mounted on Facebook even further, and the company is now reportedly considering changing its political ad policy, according to a report by Wall Street Journal.

(Also read: Debating political ads on social media is Facebook, Twitter's way to derail issue; what's needed is legislation and not ban)

According to the report, Facebook is apparently in conversation with political parties in the US to discuss the possibility of "increasing the minimum number of people who can be targeted by specific ads from 100 to a few thousand."

Meanwhile, earlier this week, President Donald Trump’s campaign staff took issue with reports that Facebook might consider limiting its targeting practices.

“Facebook wants to take important tools away from us for 2020,” the campaign tweeted from its official account. “Tools that help us reach more great Americans & lift voices the media & big tech choose to ignore!”

Last week, Twitter also laid out its plan for banning political adswhich comes into effect from today (22 November). Last month, Twitter announced that it would ban political advertising.

Twitter said it will define political content under its policy as anything that references "a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive, or judicial outcome."

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