Facebook to ban political ads in week before presidential election

Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing examining the company’s plan to launch a digital currency on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019.

Erin Scott | Reuters

Facebook announced Thursday that it would ban new political ads from running in the week before the presidential election.

In addition to the political ad ban, Facebook said it would label any post from a candidate attempting to declare victory in the election before the final results are in with a link to the official results from Reuters and the National Election Pool.

Until now, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been adamant about allowing political ads on Facebook and Instagram, even if political candidates use those ads to lie or spread misinformation. Other social media companies, including Twitter and Pinterest, have already banned political ads on their services.

Facebook also said it would take down posts on the social network that attempt to discourage people from voting in the election, such as claims that they’ll catch Covid-19 if they go to the polls. For other posts that “might use COVID-19 to discourage voting,” Facebook said it would attach a link to “authoritative information” about the pandemic.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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