Facebook refuses to ban political ads containing false claims from its site

Site will also not change its ad targeting system

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Facebook will not ban paid political advertisements with false claims from its website, despite pressure from lawmakers to do so ahead of this year’s presidential election.

A statement from Facebook also says the site will not change its system to target advertisements to specific users. Instead, it will develop an option for users to hide or limit political ads from their news feed.

Virginia Tech professor Mike Horning has done prior research into social media. He says the debate centers on how undefined social media’s political ad rules are compared to the rules for other media such as television, radio, and print.

Horning hopes the discussion about Facebook’s political ads will inspire both federal lawmakers and social media companies to make changes.

“I think Congress needs to revisit exactly how it defines the rules for political advertising with the social media companies," Horning says. "The other part is social media companies themselves need to think about how to be more transparent.”

About the Author: