The Elm (Washington College): Facebook’s removal of political ads prior to the 2020 election is too little too late

The Elm (Washington College): Facebook’s removal of political ads prior to the 2020 election is too little too late. “In October of 2019, multiple Facebook employees sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg detailing concerns about political ads. Since then numerous employees have expressed their concern about Facebook becoming an unreliable app. They recognized the mistakes made in 2016 and decided that the company needed to change its fact-checking policies. Although Facebook took some of the recommendations from the letter seriously, it’s too little, too late.”

New York University: New Tool to Analyze Political Advertising on Facebook Reveals Massive Discrepancies in Party Spending on Presidential Contest

New York University: New Tool to Analyze Political Advertising on Facebook Reveals Massive Discrepancies in Party Spending on Presidential Contest. “Designed to help reporters, researchers, thought leaders, policy makers, and the general public easily analyze political ads on Facebook ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, the web-based tool allows users to search by state, as well as major political races, to identify trends in how ads are targeted to specific audiences and what messages are being used, who is funding each ad, and how much they are spending to disseminate them.”

Washington State University: Facebook political ads more partisan, less negative than TV

Washington State University: Facebook political ads more partisan, less negative than TV. “More political candidates may be shifting primarily to social media to advertise rather than TV, according to a study of advertising trends from the 2018 campaign season. The study, published recently in American Political Science Review, also found that Facebook political ads were more partisan, less negative and less issue-focused than those on TV.”

Open Secrets: OpenSecrets unveils new online ads database

Open Secrets: OpenSecrets unveils new online ads database. “With the digital-dominated 2020 election shifting into high gear, OpenSecrets is releasing a new searchable, sortable online ads database that provides comprehensive details about political ad spending on Google and Facebook. OpenSecrets is tracking over 80,000 online political advertisers, more than four times the number of committees registered with the Federal Election Commission.”

MIT Technology Review: Why Facebook’s political-ad ban is taking on the wrong problem

MIT Technology Review: Why Facebook’s political-ad ban is taking on the wrong problem. “The idea of algorithmic manipulation schemes brainwashing large swaths of the US electorate online is a nice way to explain the polarized nature of American public opinion. But experts say it’s actually pretty unlikely that targeted political advertising has had much influence on voter behavior at all.”

ProPublica: Facebook’s Political Ad Ban Also Threatens Ability to Spread Accurate Information on How to Vote

ProPublica: Facebook’s Political Ad Ban Also Threatens Ability to Spread Accurate Information on How to Vote. “Facebook this week said it would bar political ads in the seven days before the presidential election. That could prevent dirty tricks or an ‘October surprise’ and give watchdogs time to fact-check statements. But rather than responding with glee, election officials say the move leaves them worried. Included in the ban are ads purchased by election officials — secretaries of state and boards of elections — who use Facebook to inform voters about how voting will work. The move effectively removes a key communication channel just as millions of Americans will begin to navigate a voting process different from any they’ve experienced before.”

Columbia University: Facebook Can Do More Than Just Ban Political Advertising a Week Before the Election

Columbia University: Facebook Can Do More Than Just Ban Political Advertising a Week Before the Election. “It’s no secret that the U.S. electoral system needs to change: turnout is low compared to other democracies and we still haven’t established basic rules such as weekend and universal mail-in voting. Citizens United and other court decisions have allowed dark money and large corporate interests to finance political campaigns. The Federal Election Commission is paralyzed and has been for years. The Honest Ads Act, which would force source disclosure of online political advertising, has not passed Congress and some local laws attempting to require such disclosure have been struck down by the courts. Shockingly, online political advertising is still unregulated in the U.S., and it’s beyond time for Facebook, now a major source of political news, to mend its ways of doing business without waiting for government regulation.”

Washington Post: Facebook will block new political advertising the week before Election Day

Washington Post: Facebook will block new political advertising the week before Election Day. “Facebook plans to block new advertising the week before the presidential election — the first time the company has taken action to limit political advertising in the United States, the company said Thursday. The move to limit ads, part of a spate of election-related announcements, is an attempt to reduce misinformation that is expected to flood social networks as Election Day draws near.”

Explainer: What do political databases know about you? (MIT Technology Review)

MIT Technology Review: Explainer: What do political databases know about you?. “American citizens are inundated with political messages—on social networks, in their news feeds, through email, text messages, and phone calls. It’s not an accident that people get bombarded: political groups prefer a ‘multimodal’ voter contact strategy, where they use many platforms and multiple attempts to persuade a citizen to engage with their cause or candidate. An ad is followed by an email, which is followed by a text message—all designed to reinforce the message. These strategies are employed by political campaigns, political action committees, advocacy groups, and nonprofits alike. These different groups are subject to very different rules and regulations, but they all rely on capturing and devouring data about millions of people in America.”

CNN: Facebook bans ads from pro-Trump PAC

CNN: Facebook bans ads from pro-Trump PAC. “Facebook announced Thursday it was banning ads from The Committee to Defend the President, a pro-Trump super PAC. Facebook did not say how long the ban would last.”

Washington Post: Google rejects ad depicting police violence aimed at persuading black voters

Washington Post: Google rejects ad depicting police violence aimed at persuading black voters. “The move by Google, the Web’s largest ad platform, to filter out disturbing content central to a searing national debate over race and policing — a debate increasingly pivotal to the presidential campaign — speaks anew to the dilemmas faced by technology companies in regulating their platforms. Facebook has been pushed back on its heels by an intensifying ad boycott, organized by Color of Change and other civil rights groups that accuse the Silicon Valley giant of failing to erase hate speech and misinformation.”

CNN: Facebook considers banning political ads in days before US election

CNN: Facebook considers banning political ads in days before US election. “Facebook is considering banning political advertising on its platform in the days leading up to the US presidential election in November, a person familiar with the discussions told CNN Business. The potential ban has been under consideration since last fall, the person said.” I am 100% opposed to this because I believe Facebook will mess it up and not apply it consistently.

NiemanLab: Americans don’t think misleading political ads should be on social media. (They also don’t trust platforms to remove them.)

NiemanLab: Americans don’t think misleading political ads should be on social media. (They also don’t trust platforms to remove them.). “People worldwide think Facebook should block political ads. The Reuters Institute for Journalism’s annual Digital News Report came out this week; we covered it broadly here, but I waited for this column to delve into the fake news stuff. Here are a few findings.”

CNBC: Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will allow users to turn off political ads

CNBC: Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will allow users to turn off political ads. “Users will be able to turn off political, electoral and social issue ads from political candidates, Super PACs and ‘other organizations that have the “Paid for by” political disclaimer on them,’ the company told CNBC. The company will start rolling this feature out to some users on Wednesday, and it will become available to all U.S. users over the next few weeks, Facebook said.”

The Spinoff: Facebook to ban foreign political ads in run-up to New Zealand election

The Spinoff: Facebook to ban foreign political ads in run-up to New Zealand election. “As of next month only New Zealanders who have provided Facebook with a form of government-issued identification will be able to post ads that make references to political figures, parties, social issues or the country’s election.”