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Political Advertising: Facebook will continue to allow politicians to display lies in advertisements until election day

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But Facebook will continue to allow politicians to post lies in ads until election day. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would not accept any new political ads in the final week of the 2020 election campaign. The company will remove posts claiming people will get Covid-19 if they vote and it will flag misinformation about the election and voting.

The policy reflects Facebook’s latest plan for a supposedly unusual choice. But it only goes so far: Although the restrictions on new ads go into effect the week before election day, many states allow early or mail-in voting, which can be done before the policy goes into effect.

In another potential loophole Facebook (FB) continues to allow campaigns to run ads bought before the last week. These ads can run until election day. And Zuckerberg made no suggestion that Facebook would change its policy to allow politicians to lie in targeted ads, which means political candidates can run fake ads on the platform until election day.

Zuckerberg said campaigns can continue to run ads bought before the last election week – even if they contain misinformation – since fact-checkers and journalists have had ample time to review them before election day.

“It is important that campaigns can be carried out to get the election campaigns out, and I generally believe that the best antidote to bad speech is more speech,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “But there may not be enough time in the last few days of an election to challenge new demands.”

Facebook’s temporary restrictions on political advertising will be lifted after election day, the company told CNN, citing it doesn’t believe the same preventive precautions are needed in anticipation of a chaotic election with ambiguous results.

Zuckerberg said that after the election, Facebook will apply a contextual label to candidate posts or campaigns trying to claim victory before official results are available. The company will rely on the results reported by Reuters as well as a coalition of other news organizations known as the National Elections Pool. Separately, Facebook will also apply contextual labels to posts aimed at de-legitimizing the results, but it’s unclear whether any of the guidelines extend to political ads.

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