As part of a move backward in the moderation of election-related content among major social media platforms over the past year, Meta will permit political ads on its platforms that cast doubt on the results of the 2020 US presidential election. This is in advance of the US presidential contest in 2024. Due to the policy, Facebook and Instagram‘s parent company Meta will be able to directly profit from political advertisements that support fictitious claims regarding the validity of the 2020 election.
Political ads claiming that previous elections, including the 2020 presidential contest, were rigged will be permitted by the company, but those that “call into question the legitimacy of an upcoming or ongoing election” will not be permitted.
Although it has been a year since the policy was updated, not much has been made of the change.
Although it has been a year since the policy was updated, not much has been made of the change. The Wall Street Journal first revealed Meta’s new advertising guidelines earlier on Wednesday.
In August 2022, Meta announced its strategy for the midterm elections of the previous year. The policy that permits 2020 election denialism in political advertisements, according to Meta, was a part of that announcement. At that time, the company said it would forbid ads that discourage people from voting, cast doubt on the validity of an upcoming or ongoing election, or prematurely declare an election victory and targeted users in the US, Brazil, Israel, and Italy. In that same month, Meta informed The Washington Post that it would not expunge posts made by political candidates or ordinary users alleging voter fraud or election rigging in 2020.
According to the company, Meta’s wider electoral disinformation policy still forbids anything that can impede people from taking part in the census or voting, like making up information about when an election is happening.
Since last fall, accounts belonging to former US President Donald Trump have been reinstated on Meta, YouTube, and X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. After Trump was reinstated in January, Meta made it clear that while the former president would not face consequences for criticizing the 2020 election outcome, he would not be allowed to cast doubt on an impending election.
Additionally, X announced earlier this year that it would lift an earlier ban on political advertisements and allow them once more.
Reversing a policy that was put in place more than two years ago, YouTube announced in June that it would no longer remove content that made false claims that the 2020 US presidential election was rigged. Nonetheless, the company states that it will continue to forbid content that propagates falsehoods that could deter people from voting, misleads users about when and how to cast their ballots, or in any other way “encourages others to interfere with democratic processes.”
YouTube spokesperson Michael Aciman confirmed on Wednesday that the platform’s policy change permitting denialism of the 2020 election does not extend to its advertising policies. Claims that are “demonstrably false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process” are still forbidden by YouTube’s ad policy.
Source: Cosmo Politian