This morning, Facebook announced a new policy saying that it would bar new political ads one week before Election Day.
In reaction to this announcement, Media Matters president Angelo Carusone issued the following statement:
Facebook’s new ad policy announcement is designed to fool the media and the public into thinking the company is taking disinformation seriously; this new policy is pointless - and may even do more harm than good.
For starters, of all of the issues with disinformation and extremism on Facebook -- political ads are at the bottom of the list. Facebook’s signal-boosting right-wingers and lax policy enforcement are much bigger issues: It wasn't Facebook’s political ads that brought the Kenosha killer to Wisconsin, after all.
Make no mistake -- you can still spread misinformation with political ads on Facebook, you just can’t do it with NEW ads just ONE week before Election Day. According to this new policy, political ads that have at least one impression prior to October 27th can be rerun and re-targeted to new groups during the week of Election Day.
Facebook’s policy will only further empower those seeking to do harm, while weakening the ability of outside forces to counteract attacks and misinformation, something that has proven necessary given Facebook's weak enforcement.
This is just another PR stunt from Facebook. Don’t buy it.
Media Matters named Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Misinformer of the Year back in 2017.