Ahead of the 2020 United States presidential election, Facebook is launching a new Voting Information Center. This is an effort to inform people about the election, including guidance on registering to vote and how, when, and where to vote on the big day.
However, in conjunction with this effort to inform and educate, Facebook is also giving people the option to turn off all political ads. So if you already know who you’re voting for, you can choose to never again see another political ad on Facebook.
Facebook Reveals Its Plans for the 2020 US Election
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the Voting Information Center in an op-ed for USA Today. He spells out Facebook’s three point plan in the run-up to this year’s election. Which is encouraging people to vote, preventing interference, and fostering free speech.
Launching The Largest Voting Information Effort in US History https://t.co/skymloG5bY
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) June 17, 2020
And in a post on the Facebook Newsroom, Naomi Gleit reveals that you can “turn off all social issue, electoral or political ads from candidates, Super PACs or other organizations that have the ‘Paid for by’ political disclaimer on them.” And here’s how to do that…
How to Turn Off All Political Ads on Facebook
To turn off all political ads on Facebook:
- Open the menu in the top-right corner.
- Click Settings & Privacy > Settings.
- Scroll down to Ads > Ad Preferences.
- Click Hide Ad Topics.
- Click Social Issues, Election or Politics.
- Select See Fewer Ads About This Topics.
You can also turn off political advertising from an individual advert. When you see an ad with the “Paid for by” political disclaimer attached, click on the information bubble and select “See Fewer Ads About This Topic”. This is quicker, but relies on you seeing an ad first.
The option to turn off political ads on Facebook is rolling out to everyone in the US over the next few weeks. So if you can’t yet see “Social Issues, Election or Politics” under “Hide Ad Topics,” you’ll have to put up with political ads for a little longer.
How Facebook Data Can Be Used to Win Elections
On paper, these efforts to educate and inform users are good news for anyone who values democracy. However, Facebook doesn’t have a good track record in this regard, as you can see in our exposé looking at how Facebook data can be used to win elections .
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