Facebook exploring political ad ban ahead of US Presidential elections

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
Facebook Image
Representational Image

As the United States inches closer to yet another presidential election scheduled for 3rd November, Facebook is considering imposing a ban on political advertising on its social network, people familiar with the company’s thinking said. 

The potential ban is only under discussion and has not been finalized.

Facebook has been under fire for a long time for its strategy that exempts fact-checking of the advertisements and speech from politicians.

Facebook Political Ads
Similar ads have been ever-present on the platform to sway potential voters away from their favorite election candidates

Facebook had continued to maintain its stand on “not wanting to stifle freedom of political speech”, even as its smaller rival Twitter had banned political ads last year.

Joe Biden’s campaign had released an open letter to Facebook Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg calling on the firm to fact check the advertisements of politicians in the two weeks leading up to the election.

Biden’s digital director, Rob Flaherty on Friday referred to the problem of misinformation in unpaid content on the platform in his Twitter post.

“Requisite reminder that Facebook’s problems are 80% about unpaid content and so anything they do about paid content is an attempt to distract you,” he tweeted.

In recent weeks, Facebook has faced criticism from workers and politicians over its decisions to not respond against the controversial messages from Donald Trump on its platform.

A spokesperson for Facebook said the firm has no comment on the story.

In the aftermath of George Floyd ‘s death in police custody, more than 900 advertisers signed an ad boycott on Facebook, coordinated by civil rights organizations to urge the world’s largest social media network to take immediate action to block hate speech and misinformation.