Facebook mulls banning politicians’ ads ahead of Nov.3 U.S. presidential elections

According to three sources familiar with the matter at hand, Facebook Inc is weighing options which include imposing a ban on political ads on its social network in the days leading up to the November 3 U.S. Presidential elections in the United States, reads a report from Bloomberg News.

Facebook’s spokesman declined to comment on the report.

Facebook, the world’s biggest social media company, has come under intense fire for its policy of exempting politicians’ ads and speech from fact-checking.

In 2019, its smaller rival Twitter Inc, had banned political ads, Facebook however has maintained it does not want to stifle political speech.

Neither U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign nor presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaigns immediately responded to requests for comments.

In June 2020, Biden’s campaign had published an open letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg calling for the company to fact-check politicians’ ads in the two weeks ahead of the election.

On Friday, in a tweet, Biden’s digital director Rob Flaherty had pointed to the issue of misinformation in unpaid content on the platform.

“Requisite reminder that Facebook’s problems are 80% about unpaid content and so anything they do about paid content is an attempt to distract you,” tweeted Flaherty.

In recent weeks, Facebook has under pressure from employees and lawmakers over its decisions not to act on inflammatory posts by the president.

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