According to multiple people within Facebook, the social media giant may ban all political ads, just months before the US election takes place on November 3.
This would be a major change of course for Facebook, who has repeatedly stated that it doesn’t want to take political sides, and wouldn’t ban ads. However, on the flip side for Facebook, this could help them curb misinformation, which spread pretty widely during the last presidential election.
Facebook would be following Twitter’s lead
If Facebook does indeed decide to ban all political ads, they would be following Twitter. Who decided to ban all of those ads last year.
For Facebook and Twitter, it’s not so much about losing out on valuable ad dollars – and both Joe Biden and President Trump have a huge war chest to spend on advertising – but more about fighting misinformation.
Misinformation has been spreading pretty rampantly thanks to political ads. And President Trump is one of the main culprits of doing so. He has repeatedly claimed that mail-in voting would lead to unprecedented voter fraud. Which is simply not true. And Twitter made sure to put a misinformation tag on that tweet. Which of course, pissed off the President.
The policy that Facebook is planning on adopting has not been finalized yet. But according to Bloomberg, Facebook is worried about hampering the “get out the vote” efforts or restricting how a candidate could respond to breaking news during the campaign cycle.
This ban would actually protect Facebook
A complete ban on political ads would actually protect Facebook, from bad publicity. President Trump is known for posting ads and posts in general, with inflammatory content. Like the ad that Facebook removed recently that had Nazi imagery included.
However, banning these ads could be considered a way of limiting the effects that Facebook has in the immediate lead-up to the election in November.
We all know that it’s going to get ugly between Biden and Trump, as we get closer to November 3. And having Facebook ban all political ads, similar to Twitter, would actually be a move in the right direction. Political ads are known for having loads of misinformation and using their opponents words out of context. So a complete ban wouldn’t be a bad thing.
But Facebook does still want to create a Voter’s Hub for the election, making it easier for people to register, know where to vote, and what they are voting for, come November 3. As this is a big election year. In addition to the President being up for re-election, so are a third of the US Senate, the entire US House, and many other offices across the country.