Users Now Can Block Political Ads on Facebook and Instagram
In 2020, social media platforms Facebook and Instagram continue to tackle misinformation aimed at distorting election results. In 2016, this was a huge problem for many voters. In 2019, Facebook completely blocked 50 potentially malicious accounts. In 2020 300 profiles were removed from Instagram. These are mainly the Proud Boys and the American Guard, which support the idea of violence and ethnic enmity.
This year, users will be able to block political posts on Facebook and Instagram. This is due to the fact that a barrage of criticism has once again hit social networks. Some media outlets accuse the creators of social platforms of spreading misinformation online.
In response to the criticism, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in an article published in USA Today that Facebook blocks sponsored posts regarding politics. He admitted that many users want content moderation to be much tougher. Zuckerberg believes that this can improve the quality of the information received and reduce any aggressive campaigning by politicians or extremist groups.
How to block political posts on Facebook?
Facebook has listed the following ads that are considered political ads:
- Social problems.
- Election advertisement of candidates for state office.
- Super PACs.
- Other types of advertising campaigns that lack the “paid for by” mark.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get rid of ads on Facebook before it appears on the website:
- Go to Settings and privacy – Settings – Advertising.
- Click on the Advertisement Themes – Social Themes, Elections, and Politics button.
- Click See less ads on this topic.
You can also block ads on Facebook in the app. To do this, you need to find the Confirmed Organization tag. It’s in the upper right corner. Click on it, and a window will pop up at the bottom of the screen where you can choose one of three options:
- “Who is sponsoring this ad?”
- “Why do I see it?”
- “See fewer ads on this topic.”
Before blocking Facebook political ads, you can see additional information suggested by the platform. The social network will then ask you again if you want to view fewer ads regarding social issues and politics. Check the box if you no longer want to receive this content.
If you still see political ads in your feed, click on the top-right corner of the ad to open a blocking form. The system will receive new data about unwanted content in order to successfully filter and hide it from impressions in the future.
Facebook did not refuse to provide users with information about the political situation in the country. The social network will provide transparency on advertising costs. The developers have integrated a special tracker that shows data on the costs of advertising campaigns during the political race in the United States. The system will also compare how much advertisers have spent on political and classified ads. You can see an overview of the new function here.
This option refers to the advanced features of the ad library. Custom content management settings were announced at the beginning of the year.
Many users and experts were unhappy that the social network did not introduce stricter controls on paid content. The developers only told how to block ads on Facebook, but the decision remains with the person himself.
Facebook and Instagram officials are still of the opinion that citizens should familiarize themselves with candidates and decide who to vote for. To increase interest in the elections, a Voting Information Center was launched on Facebook. Users will have access to information about where and when they can cast their vote. It will also publish data on mail ballots and an online voter registration form. Information on the officials present at the polling stations will also be made public. A new information section was created based on the COVID-19 center.
The content will be displayed in the news feed:
If you block Facebook ads on social and political issues, you can still get reliable data on the voting process in each state.
The main goal of the new voting center is to attract 4 million voters using Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. In 2016 and 2018, a similar campaign helped increase interest in political events in the country among 2 million users. This year, the developers decided to complicate the task for themselves.
Нow to block ads on Instagram?
This process is almost the same as blocking all ads on Facebook. You need to go to your account, select the option See less ads on social issues, elections, and politics in the ad theme settings. Check the box and save your changes.
If you want to see less political content, click on the Paid button, and then See fewer similar ads.
Currently, the Political Ads Block option is available exclusively to US users. While this innovation is being tested and the developers are not sure that they were able to calculate all the points related to user-friendliness and moderation of prohibited content. Users from other countries will soon be able to learn how to block Facebook ads. According to Mark Zuckerberg, this feature will make ads less annoying for the audience and create a more honest choice.
From a user-friendliness perspective, Facebook’s move away from strict moderation of content and ads is justified. Artificial intelligence cannot 100% select content relevant to this topic, block it or limit its amount in the feed. It will also reduce the number of paid listings, which will negatively affect the company’s revenue.