Facebook is considering curbing political ads by boosting the minimum amount of people who can be targeted from 100 to a few thousand ahead of 2020 election
- Facebook bosses have consulted major Republican and Democrat ad buyers
- They hope the change will make it more difficult for bad agents to spread misinformation
- It comes after Google announced it was tightening its rules to ban ads from targeting people based on their politics
- Facebook came under fire after it emerged Russian hackers bought ads to spread false information before the 2016 election
Facebook is considering curbing political ads that are aimed at small groups by increasing the minimum number of people who can be targeted by raising the minimum number of people who can be targeted from 100 to a few thousand.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the company has already sought advice from large Republican and Democrat ad buyers.
The expansion is designed to make it more difficult for misinformation to be spread.
It comes after Google announced on Tuesday that it was also tightening its advertising rules to make it impossible for ad buyers to target people by political preferences.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pictured speaking before the House Financial Services Committee in October
Now, they can only target people based on broad categories like their age, gender and location.
Facebook had already taken the controversial decision not to fact check political ads.
The social network was admonished after it emerged a number of Russian hackers bought ads on the site pretending to be legitimate groups or businesses before the 2016 presidential election in order to influence the vote.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has however complained that it should not be down to him to draw the lines on how to police political advertising.
Google’s new rules are not specifically aimed at political groups.
Google will enforce the new approach in the United Kingdom within a week, ahead of the December 12 general election. Google said it would enforce it in the European Union by the end of the year and in the rest of the world starting on January 6, 2020.
‘This will be enforced in the UK within a week, so will cover the UK General Election, in the EU by the end of the year, and in the rest of the world starting on January 6, 2020,’ a Google spokesperson told Mail Online.
‘Given recent concerns and debates about political advertising, and the importance of shared trust in the democratic process, we want to improve voters’ confidence in the political ads they may see on our ad platforms,’ Scott Spencer, vice president of product management for Google Ads, said in the blog post.
The changes are expected to prompt political campaigns to shift some ads to television and Google’s smaller rivals.