Facebook is exploring new ways to label political ads on its platforms, following months of pressure from Democrats who want Mark Zuckerberg to censor ads from President Donald Trump’s campaign that they consider to be “misinformation.”
The Washington Post spoke to several sources involved in conversations with Facebook, which has been floating various ideas for regulating political ads over the past month, including labels on political ads to tell Facebook users if they have been “fact-checked” or not.
Via the Washington Post:
It has also floated other ideas, according to the sources: limiting the number of ads a single candidate can run at a time, imposing a blackout on political ads in the 72 hours before an election and raising the minimum number of people that a campaign could target with an ad.
Three of the sources said Facebook also discussed possibly requiring campaigns to have or share authoritative backup documentation for claims made in ads — though it was not clear what would count as authoritative.
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone confirmed to the Post that Facebook is “looking at different ways we might refine our approach to political ads.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has maintained that he doesn’t want to be an arbiter of political truth. “I don’t think that a private company should be censoring politicians or news,” Zuckerberg said in an interview earlier this week.
Despite this, Facebook currently censors both politicians and news. Congressional candidate Laura Loomer remains banned from the platform, as does British euroskeptic and anti-sharia politician Tommy Robinson. In recent months, Facebook has also banned news stories (including stories from Breitbart News) that name Eric Ciaramella as an alleged “whistleblower.”
Facebook’s decision to explore new ways to regulate political ads on the platform is a concession to Democrats and the left, who have been urging the company to remove pro-Trump ads they accuse of “misinformation”. The DNC, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and the left-wing media have all campaigned for Facebook to censor Trump ads.
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.