What you need to know
- Facebook will not be fact-checking political ads or screening them for misleading content.
- The firm believes that political conversation is important and that people should hear from those who wish to lead them.
- This contrasts with Twitter's own policy of banning all political ads wholesale.
Facebook has opted not to follow Twitter and Google's more cautious policies on political advertising. While the company today introduced an upcoming new feature that will let users limit all political ads on Facebook or Instagram, it also decided that it would not be fact-checking those ads.
Rob Leathern, Director of Product Management explained the decision in a blog post:
Facebook's deviation not only from the standards set by Google and Twitter, but by those set by itself, is puzzling. Facebook's advertising policies already ban "deceptive, false, or misleading content", but carves out an exception for political parties, allowing falsehoods.
It isn't a hypothetical concern, either. 80% of the UK's Conservative Party ads allowed on Facebook were misleading and contained claims already challenged by fact-checkers.
Twitter's Jack Dorsey had this to say on the topic back in October::
While Facebook may disagree, it remains a strong point.
Twitter decides to ban all political advertising on its platform from November 22
Well, then what is the ******* point of it?
Politicians are the biggest liars on the scene.
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