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Facebook Will Allow Users To Turn Off All Political Ads

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Facebook Will Allow Users To Turn Off All Political Ads

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is rolling out a new feature that will let users avoid all political advertisements on its platform, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday.

What Happened

"[For] those of you who've already made up your minds and just want the election to be over, we hear you — so we're also introducing the ability to turn off seeing political ads," Zuckerberg wrote in an opinion piece in USA Today. "We'll still remind you to vote."

Zuckerberg also announced a voting information campaign, which he said will enable four million people to register to vote in the upcoming presidential general election in November.

Facebook separately told CNBC that it will start rolling out the feature on Wednesday, and it will become throughout the United States in the coming weeks.

The social media company's users will have an option to turn off all political, electoral and social issue ads from political candidates, Super PACs, and "other organizations that have the ‘Paid for by' political disclaimer on them," CNBC reported.

Reuters reported the same day that Facebook will display a label highlighting the ads, even if they're shared by users on their own timeline. The company previously considered such posts as "organic."

Why It Matters

Facebook and Zuckerberg personally have long faced criticism for alleged inaction against political misinformation and election interference on their platform, including during the 2016 presidential elections.

Most recently, the company came under attack for not taking action against certain posts by President Donald Trump related to the protests that occurred throughout the country in the wake of George Floyd's death, unlike rival Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ: TWTR).

Zuckerberg has personally criticized the president's posts, but has defended the company's decision not to remove the post, citing free speech and his motive not to become the "arbiter of truth."

FB Price Action

Facebook shares closed nearly 1.4% higher at $235.65 on Tuesday. The shares were up 0.2% in the after-hours session at $236.19.

 

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