Facebook Will Close Political Advertising ‘Loophole’ Before Election

Mark Zuckerberg drinking
Getty/Chip Somodevilla

Social media giant Facebook has reportedly closed what it considers to be a loophole in its political advertising system ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. When Facebook users post an election ad to the platform, it will now include a “paid for by” label in the same manner as when a campaign pays for the ad to appear on the site.

Reuters reports that social media giant Facebook stated this week that it would attach labels to political ads shared by users detailing who paid for the ads in an attempt to show greater transparency on the platform.

Since 2018, political ads on the platform have had a “paid for by” label attached them, but this label disappeared when users shared the ads on their own newsfeed, which many believe undermined the purpose of the label and allowed “misinformation” to be spread.

Now, all political ads will retain the “paid for by” label regardless of where they’re shared. Sarah Schiff, a Facebook product manager overseeing the change commented: “Previously the thinking here was that these were organic posts, and so these posts did not necessarily need to contain information about ads.”

Schiff stated that the company considers it important to disclose if a post “was at one point an ad.” State news media outlets received a similar label earlier this month which disclosed the funding of the organizations, but that label also sometimes disappears when a post is shared by a user.

Facebook is now facing demands to do more to combat fake news before the U.S. presidential election on November 3. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week to reverse the firm’s decision to exempt political ads from fact-checking.

Zuckerberg stated in a recent USA Today op-ed that Facebook will display a Voting Information Center at the top of U.S. users’ news feeds. The firm will also be aiming to help 4 million people register to vote, doubling its goal for the 2016 election.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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