Facebook might be unwilling to repair essential components of its political ad rules, but it seems ready to make a few alterations to stop the distribution of misinformation. Media sources claim that Facebook is thinking of a ban on political ads that aim at teen audiences—a common strategy for those distributing fake claims. It might bump a political ad’s minimum target size from 100 users to a “few thousand,” as per the sources. While it is not certain how close Facebook is to changing its policy, the social media has supposedly asked large Republican and Democrat ad purchasers for input on that end.
A spokespersondid not deny or verify the claims, but did repeat to the media that Facebook was “seeking at different methods it may refine” its stand on political ads.
If the approach seems familiar, it might. Google lately restricted political ad targeting to gender, age, and general location, making it hard to influenceparticular audiences. Twitter also limited issue ads by banning certain keywords and removing essential criteria. Facebook might actually be following the trend, even though the method as defined might permit more narrowly aimed ads as compared to others.
There is surely pressure to take measures. The US presidential election for 2020 is on the edge, and there are issues that unscrupulous politicians and hostile governments may use extremely targeted ads to sway votes and drive false claims in essential areas. A Facebook ban would not entirely stop this method, but it may discourage the type of behavior from 2016.
On a related note, Google is the newest internet behemoth to rethink its strategy to political ads. The firm is restricting the targeting alternatives for election ads to gender, age, and general location. Advertisers in the US will no longer be permitted to target on the basis of public voting records or political leanings, for instance.