Facebook may pause political ads prior to the 2020 election

The "blackout"period would apply in the days immediately before Election Day.

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Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone screen photographed for illustration photo in Krakow, Poland on 29 January, 2019.  (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook could make a major change to its advertising policies in an effort to fight election-related misinformation. The social network is considering a ban on political advertising in the U.S. in the days before the 2020 election, Bloomberg reports

Unlike Twitter, which banned political ads entirely last year, Facebook’s plan would only limit ads for a few days. The proposed policy would create a “blackout” period that would bar political ads from the platform in the lead-up to Election Day, according to Bloomberg. It’s not clear how long this period could last, but there is some precedent for such a policy. Many countries, including the U.K, have laws that bar political ads on election day or in the days immediately before.

The report comes as Facebook deals with a growing advertiser boycott, which now includes more than 1,000 companies, as well as a backlash over its hate speech policies. An independent civil rights audit released earlier this week was sharply critical of the company’s political advertising rules, which exempt politicians from having their ads fact checked.

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