Home Science Facebook lets US users turn off political ads following months of scrutiny

Facebook lets US users turn off political ads following months of scrutiny

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Facebook lets US users turn off political ads following months of scrutiny for allowing misinformation to spread on the platform

  • Facebook is giving US users the power to turn off political ads on the platform
  • The move follows months of scrutiny due to the firm allowing misinformation
  • Certain ads include an option to turn off future ads on Facebook and Instagram
  • Facebook is also rolling out its Voting Information Center for the next election

Facebook has come under fire over the past few months for allowing political content that contains misinformation or fake content, but now users have the ability to switch them off.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced those living in the US have the ability to opt out of seeing political, electoral and social issue ads on both Facebook and Instagram.

There is now an option within ads that allows you to turn off all future political ads or you can make the switch in settings on either platform.

The new addition is set to roll out Wednesday to some users and will be released across the US over the next few weeks.

Facebook has come under fire over the past few months for allowing political content that contains misinformation or fake content, but now users have the ability to switch them off

Facebook has come under fire over the past few months for allowing political content that contains misinformation or fake content, but now users have the ability to switch them off

‘For those of you who’ve already made up your minds and just want the election to be over, we hear you — so we’re also introducing the ability to turn off seeing political ads,’ Zuckerberg wrote in an op-ed published on USA Today.

Facebook has been feeling the heat from regulators and its users to ban political ads from the platform, as its rivals have already cracked down on paid political speech ahead of key elections to limit the spread of misinformation.

However, in January, the firm was still not budging and decided not to limit how political ads can be targeted to specific groups of people, as its main digital-ad rival Google did in November.

Neither will it ban political ads outright, as Twitter did last October.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced those living in the US have the ability to opt out of seeing political, electoral and social issue ads on both Facebook and Instagram

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced those living in the US have the ability to opt out of seeing political, electoral and social issue ads on both Facebook and Instagram

Although Facebook is not completely blocking questionable political ads, it is now giving users the power to opt out of seeing them in newsfeed. When a user comes across an ad there will now be an option attached that turns off all future ads (pictured are random ads from Facebook)

Although Facebook is not completely blocking questionable political ads, it is now giving users the power to opt out of seeing them in newsfeed. When a user comes across an ad there will now be an option attached that turns off all future ads (pictured are random ads from Facebook)

And it still won’t fact check them, as it’s faced pressure to do.

The most recent call of action came from presidential candidate Joe Biden, who wrote a letter to Zuckerberg on Facebook.

‘We call for Facebook to proactively stem the tide of false information by no longer amplifying untrustworthy content and promptly fact-checking election-related material that goes viral,’ Biden wrote.

‘We call for Facebook to stop allowing politicians to hide behind paid misinformation in the hope that the truth will catch up only after Election Day.’

‘There should be a two-week pre-election period during which all political advertisements must be fact-checked before they are permitted to run on Facebook.’

Although Facebook is not completely blocking questionable political ads, it is now giving users the power to opt out of seeing them in newsfeed.

When a user comes across an ad there will now be an option attached that turns off all future ads, according to CNBC.

The other method is to adjust the settings for both Facebook and Instagram.

Along with the new feature, Zuckerberg also shared that Facebook will help its users register to vote through its new Voting Information Center, which was previously announced earlier this month.

The most recent call of action came from presidential candidate Joe Biden, who wrote a letter (pictured) to Zuckerberg on Facebook

The most recent call of action came from presidential candidate Joe Biden, who wrote a letter (pictured) to Zuckerberg on Facebook

The center will include information about how and when to vote, how to register, how to vote by mail and how to vote early. 

There will also be posts from state election officials and local election authorities, Zuckerberg said.

‘I believe Facebook has a responsibility not just to prevent voter suppression — which disproportionately targets people of color — but to actively support well-informed voter engagement, registration, and turnout,’ he wrote.

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