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Will Facebook completely ban political ads in days before this year’s US election?

/ 06:44 PM July 14, 2020
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Image: Loic Venance/AFP

Facebook is considering banning all political ads ahead of this US presidential election in November, according to a report by Bloomberg.

In response to the controversial role Facebook has previously played in politics over the years, the company is reportedly mulling over the possibility of banning all political ads in the days preceding the November presidential election.

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The news comes from sources familiar with the company’s plans who recently spoke with Bloomberg; these individuals also stated that a decision on the matter has not yet been made. If such a policy is implemented, it could potentially “defend against misleading election-related content spreading as people prepare to vote.”

Facebook has become infamous for spreading misinformation and fake news regarding political candidates and their campaigns. This became increasingly apparent during the 2016 election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Even since then, Facebook has refused to fact-check ads.

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More recently, the company’s inability to control hate speech on the platform has led to a slew of large corporations and businesses boycotting publishing ads on the social network. In fact, hundreds of companies have decided to officially abstain from using Facebook to advertise their goods and services.

Alternatively, while banning political ads could reduce the spread of political misinformation, it could also suppress “‘get out the vote’ campaigns, or limit a candidate’s ability to respond widely to breaking news or new information.”

As of now, no decision has been made. NVG

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TOPICS: ads, elections, Facebook, politics
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