Facebook is reportedly considering banning political advertising ahead of the US election this year. Bloomberg reported The news this afternoon says that the idea is being discussed internally, but is not yet a policy. Sources also confirmed the discussion to The New York Times. The move would dramatically escalate Facebook's current plans to prevent misinformation or interference in the 2020 elections.
The policy does not contain many details, but is based on BloombergAccording to the report, the power outage would be brief – a matter of days before election day in November. Facebook previously allowed users to turn off political ads and add disclosure requirements, and tried to provide reliable information with a voting center. Unlike its rival Twitter, which announced a political advertising ban last year, it has stopped banning ads itself.
Bloomberg writes that there are concerns about hindering voting efforts or restricting a candidate's response to breaking news.
A ban would also protect Facebook from bad advertising from flammable ads – like a Trump ad that was removed due to Nazi images. For Facebook critics who argue that the website promotes polarization and manipulation, a temporary blackout can also be seen as a way to limit its impact in the run-up to the election.
Update 4.00 p.m. ET: Confirmation of added The New York Times.