Technology

Facebook considering ban on political ads: reports

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.

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 Zuckerberg 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.

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