Social media giant Facebook has announced to change a key policy related to the advertisement. The company has revoked the ban on political ads. It said that political and social issues ads will be allowed on the platform from March 4. These ads will, however, require verification. They will also need to display a disclaimer. It should tell users that messages in the ads are paid for by’ a specific group or person. Facebook banned political ads in November 2020. Such ads were barred from the platform to check the spread of misinformation during the Presidential election in the United States. Facebook said that it took the feedback of users into account before resuming political ads.
Facebook said that the public feedback helped the company to understand more about such ads. The company will keep a close watch on such ads. It will introduce changes if there are scope and merit. Notably, there is no mechanism available to fact-check political ads on Facebook. This is one of the reasons why the company often faces criticism for its policies regarding political ads. The ban on ads also came close on the heels of confusions that were created by then President Donald Trump who used social media platforms to publicly fight the results. Around a Senate runoff in Georgia in January, Facebook had allowed some political ads. But soon it re-imposed the ban.
According to Facebook, political ads on the platform make a very small part of its business model. The ban also helped in addressing concerns that candidates could influence or mislead the voters about the Presidential election to swing the outcomes. Facebook said that it will store the content of ads in its library. By doing this, the company said that it will become easy for researchers and others to view the ads. Earlier, search engine giant Google also announced to lift the ban on political ads. Both Facebook and Google dominate the digital advertising sector worldwide. Google too had suspended political ads to check the flow of misinformation involving the elections.