Facebook Unveils Tighter Political Ad Measures Ahead of US Elections


Facebook (FB) has announced that it is now allowing people to turn off all social issue, electoral or political advertisements from candidates, Super PACs (political action committees) or other organizations that have the “Paid for by” political disclaimer on them.

The new feature will be implemented on both Facebook and Instagram and will be rolled out to everyone in the US over the next few weeks. FB aims to make it available in other countries where the company has enforcement on ads about social issues, elections and politics later this fall.

Ads can be turned off either on Facebook or Instagram directly from any political or social issue ad or through each platform’s ad settings.

At the same time, FB is taking two additional steps to make political advertising more transparent. Previously, when someone shared a political or issue ad or posted it on a Page, the “Paid for by” political disclaimer did not appear, creating confusion about whether the share was an ad or not.

Now disclaimers will stay on any shared political or issue ad so people can see who is behind it and who paid for it- marking a significant change for political advertising on the social media platform.

Plus the tech giant is adding a new feature to the Ad Library, allowing users to track ad spending for US House and Senate races, in addition to spending for the candidates in the Presidential race. “We’ll also offer a custom tracker to compare the spending of advertisers running political or issue ads. This will help you understand how much advertisers and candidates are spending to reach voters” the company says.

Finally, FB is building a new Voting Information Center that it hopes will give millions of people accurate voting information, and the tools they need to register. Facebook’s goal is to help register 4 million voters this year using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, doubling the estimated 2 million people it helped register in 2018 and 2016.

Shares in FB have surged 15% year-to-date, and analysts have a bullish Strong Buy consensus on the stock’s outlook. This breaks down into 31 recent buy ratings and 4 hold ratings. However the average analyst price target of $245 only indicates 4% upside potential from current levels. (See Facebook stock analysis on TipRanks).

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