Facebook is considering a blackout of political ads on its site in the days leading up to the November US election, it was reported Friday.
According to Bloombergsocial media giant discusses banning political ads after weeks of criticism for not fact-checking politicians’ ads or their campaigns.
Anger at the company’s inactive position on hateful language on its platform has resulted in a boycott of over a thousand of its advertisers.
Civil rights organizations have also called Facebook’s response “disappointing.”
Facebook may introduce a ban on political advertising in the days before the 2020 elections
The political blackout of the ads is still only being discussed and no action has been finalized, Bloomberg adds.
Blackouts about political advertising within days of an election are common in other parts of the world, such as the UK.
The ban is seen as important to those who think it will stop the spread of misinformation around the elections, just as people are preparing to vote.
However, there are concerns that banning all election-related posts could affect the numbers that prove to be, as they also damage the “get out and vote” campaigns.
Candidates will also be prevented from advertising their position on the latest news taking place within those few days.
As it turned out, Russian agents used Facebook to spread misleading and divisive ads and messages ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.
The company has since tried to hone the political ad process. It implemented stricter requirements for buying marketing spots and added a searchable ad archive.
The news of the potential blackout comes after Facebook clashes came back from criticizing its hate speech and an audit report released Wednesday found it is not doing enough to implement its own voter suppression policy.
The audit found that this was especially the case with reports from President Donald Trump that Facebook has allowed to remain on the site despite its competitors Twitter and Snapchat choosing the fact check.
It said the company has taken a series of decisions that have undermined civil rights, including allowing Trump messages that violate the values of the leading social network.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously said that as a private company, he doesn’t believe Facebook should intervene in what is posted on the site, not even hate speech
The audit commissioned by Facebook in 2018 found that the California social media giant had “ taken significant steps forward in building a long-term civil rights accountability framework ” but that they “ are not enough and should not be the end of Facebook’s progress “.
Despite the progress, “the auditors are concerned that those gains may be obscured by the annoying and heartbreaking decisions Facebook has made and that are significant setbacks to civil rights,” the 100-page report said.
The auditors were also deeply concerned by Facebook’s reluctance to take action on Trump’s posts this year that “allowed the spread of hate / violent language” and “enabled voter repression.”
The messages on May 20 were about ballot papers. Trump had said they were, or would be, “fraudulent” voter fraud, which the accountants say was harmful false information that Facebook should have removed.
These are some of the reports that the inspectors said were harmful. Trump posted them on May 20
Anger at Facebook’s messages and inaction has now led to a boycott of ads involving more than 1,000 companies.
They insist on Facebook’s more aggressive action on poisonous and inflammatory content that promotes violence and hatred – spurred by the wave of protests calling for social justice and racial justice.
Money from the eight million advertisers who spend money on Facebook accounts for 98 percent of $ 70.7 billion in annual sales, according to the New York Times.
Facebook steadfastly refuses to monitor political speeches and has a largely hands-off policy on comments from world leaders.
But it has said it will remove comments that could lead to immediate damage, and recently updated a policy to label a message that violates the rules, even if it is allowed to stay online because it is “ newsworthy. ”
This decision reversed founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg after saying Facebook as a private company shouldn’t intervene in what is posted on the site.
Despite the ongoing boycott, Facebook’s share continues to rise this week
It came as executives began to use a more conciliatory tone toward the demands as more and more large advertisers joined the boycott.
But Tuesday, organizers of the Facebook boycott campaign condemned Zuckerberg for doing “almost nothing” to remove hate speech from the site.
Leaders of the # StopHateForProfit campaign lashed out after a ‘disappointing’ meeting with the social media CEO and other leading leaders they said showed Facebook ‘is not ready to tackle the horrific hatred on their platform yet.’
Despite the ongoing boycott, the Facebook stock has continued to rise over the past week and has already reached record highs.