Facebook To Let US Citizens Turn Off Political Ads

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Ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November, Facebook said it will allow U.S. users to turn off seeing political ads in their Facebook and Instagram feeds.

Facebook is making the feature available to users as part of its preparations for the 2020 U.S. elections. The social media giant has been accused of spreading misinformation about previous elections, including the 2016 U.S presidential election.

Facebook said that starting Wednesday, people will be able to turn off all social issue, electoral or political ads from candidates, Super PACs or Political Action Committees, or other organizations that have the "Paid for by" political disclaimer on them. The feature will roll out to all U.S. users over the coming weeks.

A user can turn off the ads on Facebook or Instagram directly from the ad, or through each platform's ad settings. For users who have selected this preference and still see an ad that they feel is political, they can click the upper right corner of the ad and report it to Facebook.

While the feature will initially be rolled out in the U.S., Facebook said that later in the fall, it intends to make it available in countries where it has enforcement on ads about social issues, elections and politics.

Starting Wednesday, disclaimers will remain on any political or issue ad that is shared so as to enable users to see the person who paid for the ad.

Facebook is also adding a new feature to the Ad Library that will enable users to track ad spending for US House and Senate races, in addition to spending for the candidates in the Presidential race.

The company said it will offer a custom tracker to compare the spending of advertisers running political or issue ads. This will help users to understand how much money is being spent by advertisers and candidates to reach voters.

Further, Facebook is also creating a new Voting Information Center that will provide users with authoritative information, including how and when to vote. Further, it will provide details about voter registration, voting by mail and information about early voting.

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