Facebook users, in the U.S, will now have the option to turn off all political ads on the platform starting today. On Tuesday, Facebook made this announcement in a blog post and an op-ed from Mark Zuckerberg.
Last year, the company decided not to fact-check or otherwise moderate political ads. However, the new feature by Facebook aims at giving more control to the users over what they see. At least for those users who decide to turn off, it’s a new setting.
The company had initially announced the new option in January. It will now add it to the platform as it prepares for the Presidential election of 2020 in the U.S. In the next few weeks, the option will immediately appear for users in the U.S.
The option will apply to a political, social issue and electoral ads from Super PACs, candidates, and other groups. It will pop up for users on any political ad across Facebook and Instagram through ad’s settings.
In the USA today, Zuckerberg wrote “By giving people a voice, registering and turning out voters, and preventing interference, I believe Facebook is supporting and strengthening our democracy in 2020 and beyond.”
“And for those of you who’ve already made up your minds and want the election to be over, we hear you — so we’re also introducing the ability to turn off seeing political ads. We’ll still remind you to vote.”
Facebook had earlier announced its intention to allow users to opt to see fewer political ads. Since the beginning of this year, it seems that the company only wanted to add settings to let people see fewer political ads. They were not aiming to turn them off completely. In its January post, they have defended the decision to neither fact-check political ads nor limit ad targeting tools.