In preparation for the US presidential elections of 2020, Facebook has again announced the arrival of new measures to try to curb the spread of false information on the platform this year. While still allowing political ads to exist, the social network will allow users to control the amount of political or socially related advertisements.
According to Rob Leathern, director of product management at Facebook, in a company blog post, the platform wants to be more transparent about the ads it displays and empower the user so that he can control what he really wants to see. The official says that the new feature responds to one of the most frequent requests from the community: the excess of political ads on the social network.
“Unlike Google, we decided not to limit the reach of ads. Although we have thought of doing this, we realize the importance of these tools for those who want to reach larger audiences, such as NGOs, groups and political campaigns, whether Democrats or Republicans, ”explains the official.
There is also a new feature that will allow users to limit the number of ads targeted to them based on their demographics. The platform will also expand its Ad Library, the archive that demonstrates all political ads on Facebook and Instagram, to provide information on how many interact with advertisements.
The decision comes after Facebook announced in December 2019 a reinforcement of its measures against fake news through a pilot community information verification program. The initiative wants to help Facebook's official fact checking partners identify and flag fake content faster.
Community members will work with potentially fake posts that have been detected by Facebook's artificial intelligence system, and will then have to find sources that support or deny the information in question. Their findings will then be shared with the company's official fact checking partners so that a final decision can be made.
Over the past few years, Facebook has been under pressure to combat the spread of false information on the platform, and by 2019 Mark Zuckerberg's company still ran a lot of ink. The social network took stricter action but was again under public scrutiny after refusing to remove political ads containing false information.