Facebook considering ban on political ads: reports

Facebook considering ban on political ads: reports
© Getty Images

Facebook is considering banning political ads on its platforms in the run-up to this year's election, according to multiple Friday reports.

The potential ban is still in the discussion stage and has not been finalized, Bloomberg and The New York Times both reported.

A spokesperson for Facebook declined to comment on the reports.

ADVERTISEMENT

The social media giant has largely taken a hands-off approach to political advertising on its platforms, even allowing ads with misinformation. That stance has been heavily criticized by lawmakers, civil rights groups and many of Facebook's own employees.

But CEO and founder Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Trump order targets TikTok, WeChat | TikTok fires back | Chinese firms hit hard in aftermath Female lawmakers pressure Facebook to crack down on disinformation targeting women leaders Hillicon Valley: Facebook removes Trump post | TikTok gets competitor | Lawmakers raise grid safety concerns MORE has maintained that Facebook should not be an arbiter of truth.

Twitter announced in October it would no longer run political ads, but unlike Facebook the platform was not used much for them in the first place.

Hundreds of thousands of political issue ads are run on Facebook, which gives advertisers tools to target audiences very closely.

Removing political ads may slow the spread of misinformation, but it may also hurt political candidates with smaller budgets that can only afford online advertising.

Updated at 4:20 p.m.