Facebook considering a ban on political ads: Report

Not the first time Facebook has considered a political ad ban

Facebook is considering a ban on political advertisements in the run-up to the U.S. election later this year, Bloomberg reported Friday.

Continue Reading Below

This isn't a new consideration for the company. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last fall that he has considered banning political ads in the past, but decided against it due to how it would affect the viability of candidates with a smaller reach.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment Friday.

Stocks in this Article

FBFACEBOOK INC.
$278.73
+11.17 (+4.17%)

Zuckerberg has consistently defended Facebook’s reluctance to fact-check political ads and politicians, arguing that platforms like Facebook shouldn’t be an “arbiter of truth.”

“We don’t fact-check political ads. We don’t do this to help politicians, but because we think people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying,” Zuckerberg said in a speech at Georgetown University last October. “And if content is newsworthy, we also won’t take it down even if it would otherwise conflict with many of our standards.”

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

A third-party audit of Facebook, led by civil rights lawyers, was finalized this week. It characterized that Georgetown speech as a pivotal moment for the company.

"Mark’s speech at Georgetown seems to represent a turning point for the company, after which it has placed greater emphasis on free expression," the auditors wrote.

The auditors did not necessarily think this was a good thing though, as they wrote that the company “has not yet devoted enough resources or moved with sufficient speed to tackle the multitude of civil rights challenges that are before it.”

FACEBOOK FRUSTRATES ADVERTISING BOYCOTT LEADERS WITH LACK OF CONCESSIONS

Facebook has faced a backlash both inside and outside the company in recent weeks for their emphasis on free expression.

Nearly 1,000 companies, including international brands like Starbucks and Coca-Cola, have joined an advertising boycott of Facebook. Civil rights leaders who started the boycott met with Facebook this week, but left disappointed, saying that "the Facebook team is not yet ready to address the vitriolic hate on their platform."

Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout last month in response to the company’s refusal to censor posts by President Donald Trump.

TWITCH SUSPENDS TRUMP FOR 'HATEFUL CONDUCT' VIOLATIONS

Facebook’s reported consideration of a political ad blackout comes after multiple other social media platforms have censored politicians, specifically Trump.

Twitter announced last year that they were banning political ads globally, because they “believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.”

Twitter has also flagged multiple tweets by Trump with a “public interest notice” if it violates their policies.

The live-streaming platform Twitch suspended Trump’s campaign account last month due to two violations of its “hateful conduct” policy.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS