Facebook will continue to allow false claims in paid political advertisements but will allow users to opt-out of seeing them, The Washington Post reports.
Facebook said it will not change its policy on not policing false claims made by politicians and also said it would allow political campaigns to micro-target their ads to users.
Instead, Facebook said it would respond to criticism over the policy by allowing users to choose to see fewer ads about political candidates and social issues.
Users will also be able to stop viewing ads from specific campaigns and organizations even if they are targeted.
Facebook exec defends move:
Facebook ad executive Rob Leathern said in a blog post announcing the policy that the social network is “not deaf” to the criticism of its rules.
“While Twitter has chosen to block political ads and Google has chosen to limit the targeting of political ads, we are choosing to expand transparency and give more controls to people when it comes to political ads,” he wrote. “This does not mean that politicians can say whatever they like in advertisements on Facebook. All users must abide by our Community Standards, which apply to ads and include policies that, for example, ban hate speech, harmful content and content designed to intimidate voters or stop them from exercising their right to vote. We regularly disallow ads from politicians that break our rules.”
Facebook calls for legislation:
The blog post also urged federal lawmakers to adopt new legislation on political ads.
“Ultimately, we don’t think decisions about political ads should be made by private companies, which is why we are arguing for regulation that would apply across the industry,” Leathern wrote. “The Honest Ads Act is a good example — legislation that we endorse and many parts of which we’ve already implemented — and we are engaging with policy makers in the European Union and elsewhere to press the case for regulation too. Frankly, we believe the sooner Facebook and other companies are subject to democratically accountable rules on this the better.”