Facebook Refuses To Limit Political Ads But Gives Users More Control Over Them

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is sticking to its policy of allowing all political ads to appear on its platform, without any fact-checking, according t

Benzinga · 01/10/2020 10:09

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is sticking to its policy of allowing all political ads to appear on its platform, without any fact-checking, according to Reuters.

What Happened

Facebook, on Thursday, announced some changes in its political ads policy, including some additional “transparency features” that will allow users more control over what ads they want to see.

The company, however, will not back down from its current policy of allowing all targeted political ads to appear on its platform, reported Reuters, citing a blog post by Facebook’s director of product management Rob Leathern.

“The expanded transparency features will roll out in the first quarter of 2020 and will apply in all countries where we facilitate “Paid for by” disclaimers on ads,” announced Leathern in the blog post.

Facebook is updating its Ad Library, where users will now be able to see ad's audience size, search for a specific ad, control how an advertiser can reach them, and even choose to see less political and social campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.

Why It Matters

The Mark Zuckerberg-led company faced widespread criticism last year for its policy to allow targeted political ads without any fact-checking.

Some Democrats at the time said Facebook’s policy could allow President Trump's re-election campaign to run false ads on the platform.

Facebook’s ad policy stands in stark contrast to that of its rivals like Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) and Alphabet Inc.’Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL).

Twitter banned all political advertising on its platform in 2019 and announced earlier this week it would introduce a new feature to give users more control over who can reply to their tweets.

Google, on the other hand, announced in November that they would stop allowing advertisers to target political ads using public voter records and general political affiliations.

Facebook’s Stance

Facebook’s ad policy is based on the principle that “people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public,” said Leathern in the Thursday blog post.

Price Action

Facebook shares rose 1.43% to close at $218.30 on Thursday.