Facebook once again made clear that it will continue with its decision to allow political advertisements on its platform. However, it said it will make certain changes in its advertisement policy related to political ads including giving some more power to the users who will be able to turn-off certain ad-targeting tools and the kind of ads they want to watch.
The social media giant has come under severe criticism and considerable fire from US regulators for its political ad policy, which gives politicians the liberty to post anything they want with no regard to truth. Facebook's announcements comes just months ahead of the US election and is understandably and effort by the company to suppress growing concerns over the way tech companies handle political ads.
Facebook tries to play safe
Facebook's political advertisement policy has time and again been questioned but the company hasn't made much effort to make changes. On Thursday, the tech giant said that it will make some changes to its approach to political advertisements. This will include users, who will now be allowed to turn off certain political ad-targeting tools. The company said that users will now have the option of watching fewer political and social issue ads on their platform as well as on Instagram.
The feature will be rolled out in the United States by early summer. However, this is way less than what lawmakers in the US have been demanding from Facebook. The company's director of product management, Rob Leathern said, "We don't think decisions about political ads should be made by private companies, which is why we are arguing for regulation that would apply across the industry."
Facebook tough nut to crack
Facebook's announcement makes it quite clear that it will maintain with its political ad policy. The announcement comes at a time when most tech companies have promised to limit political ads that could potentially contain misinformation and are revising their political ad policy.
Understandably, the decision to introduce new tools is in a move to suppress concerns in the run up to the 2020 US Presidential election. There have been growing concerns over the way tech companies handle political ads. Facebook particularly has been reeling under pressure since it got embroiled in data misuse scandal involving Cambridge Analytics and after it failed to counter allegations of Russian interference.
Other tech giants like Google banned the targeting of political ads last year, while Twitter completely has put a ban on all kinds of political advertisements. It is now to be seen how effective Facebook's tools will be given that the company vowed to curb political manipulation of its platform.