Facebook to let users turn off political adverts
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg says users will be able to disable political advertising on social networks ahead of the 2020 U.S. election.
In a piece written for the USA Today newspaper, he also says he hopes to help four million Americans register as new voters.
Facebook has faced heavy criticism for allowing advertisements for politicians that contain false information.
The rival social platform Twitter banned political advertising last October.
“For those of you who have already decided and just want the elections to end, we listen to you – so we’re also introducing the option to turn off the display of political announcements,” wrote Zuckerberg.
Facebook and its Instagram affiliate will give users the ability to disable political advertisements when they appear or can block them using the settings features.
Users who blocked political ads will also be able to report them if they continue to appear.
The feature, which will begin launching Wednesday, allows users to disable advertisements related to political, electoral and social issues from candidates and other organizations that have the “paid for” political disclaimer.
The company said it would make the feature available to all U.S. users in the coming weeks and will offer it in other countries this fall.
Zuckerberg continued to encourage people who are not registered as voters to register in time for the November U.S. election.
“Voting is a voice. It is the single most powerful expression of democracy, the best way to make our leaders responsible and how we deal with many of the issues with which our country is facing. “
“I believe Facebook has a responsibility not only to prevent the suppression of voters – which is disproportionately aimed at black people – but to actively support the involvement, registration and turnout of well-informed voters.”
As part of the initiative, a new information center, called The Voting Information Center, will be placed on top of American users’ Facebook and Instagram feeds from the beginning of July.
Offer information will include how to register for voting and voting details by mail.
The company also said it will share reliable information from state and local electoral authorities.
Facebook estimates that the hub will reach 160 million Americans by the November 3 elections.
Social media companies are at the center of a political storm ahead of the American election.
Last month, Zuckerberg was criticized for leaving a series of posts by President Donald Trump, including one that Twitter has labeled as containing misleading voting information in the mail.
It was the first time Twitter had reported the tweets of the President of the United States.
Also in May, Trump signed an executive order aimed at removing some of the legal protections provided to social media platforms.
It came as Trump continued to accuse companies like Twitter and Facebook of stifling conservative rumors.