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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Facebook to Allow Users to OPT-OUT of Seeing Political and Social Issue Ads
This Oct. 25, 2019, file photo shows Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking at the Paley Center in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) ** FILE ** David Sherfinski
Facebook this week announced that users in the U.S. will soon be able to opt out of seeing social issue, electoral or political ads as the company faces pressure to police “misinformation” on its platform.
The company on Tuesday said it was rolling out the option for some people before expanding it to everyone in the U.S. in the next few weeks.
Many have criticized Facebook for failing to police “misinformation” on its platform, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said they do have rules against speech that will cause “physical harm” or suppress voting.
“Ultimately, I believe the best way to hold politicians accountable is through voting, and I believe we should trust voters to make judgments for themselves,” he said in a piece for USA Today. “That’s why I think we should maintain as open a platform as possible, accompanied by ambitious efforts to boost voter participation.”
Facebook has resisted following the lead of companies like Twitter, which has banned political ads from its platform.
The campaign of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden recently called on the company to more actively police “misinformation.”
Mr. Zuckerberg also outlined plans on Tuesday for the company to help up to 4 million people register to vote, saying he wants the company to “strengthen democracy” amid persistent criticism about its role in the political discourse.
To prevent “voter suppression” and boost engagement, the company is launching a new “Voting Information Center” where people can get details about registration, voting by mail, and early voting.
Mr. Zuckerberg said that in 2016, they were “slow to identify foreign interference on our platform,” but have taken steps on that front and have removed about 70 malicious accounts in 2019 and 2020.