Facebook weighs banning political ads before the 2020 election

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As hundreds of advertisers boycott the the social media monolith over its divisive content, a political blackout may be coming in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election. Political ads on Facebook have long proven a lightning rod for controversy. They’re all too easy to pack with misinformation , while removing misleading ads is its own separate ordeal. Experts such as professor and digital rights advocate David Carroll have long suggested banning microtargeted political ads from Facebook, following the Cambridge Analytica fiasco from the 2016 election . Read Full Story

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Twitter has acquired its first design firm ever. Here’s why

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You might have never heard of Ueno, but it’s the first design studio that Twitter has ever acquired. For years, Twitter has faced criticism for enabling harassment and the spread of misinformation and, in recent months, the company has shown signs of trying to right its course. With an important election in balance, the company banned political ads, flagged Donald Trump’s tweets as disputed, and used its interface to nudge people to read and comment on stories before retweeting them. Last week, it banned Trump from its platform outright . Read Full Story

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Here’s how to turn off political ads on Facebook and Instagram

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Sadly, there is still no sign Facebook will attempt to improve the online political landscape by fact-checking misleading claims by politicians. The U.S. presidential election is less than five months away, which means political activity on Facebook is about to go into overdrive. Yes, much of that activity will be from people shouting their political opinions into the digital void, but another large chunk of that activity will come from an explosion of political ads on Facebook and its sister app, Instagram. Read Full Story

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Study: Facebook’s fake news labels have a fatal flaw

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This isn’t good. In 2016, after coordinated propaganda on Facebook helped Trump win the election, the social media giant introduced a program for independent fact-checkers to flag fake news as “disputed.” In theory, this was a good thing. While Facebook still wasn’t running every story through a fact-check, deleting false information from its service, or banning unreliable blogs and media outlets from sharing stories on Facebook, it was using the flags to make people think twice before believing a headline or sharing false information. At least Facebook did something . Read Full Story

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Yes, the Trump campaign used a Nazi symbol in its ads. Here’s what it means

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A 20th-century icon of hate emerges in a very 21st-century context. The Trump campaign began running ads on June 3 asking Americans to “make a public statement and add your name to stand with President Trump against ANTIFA.” The visual on some of those ads was an inverted red triangle. And though the ads have been running for weeks, they were just removed by Facebook, after a MediaMatters story on them published today . A Facebook spokesperson told MediaMatters in a statement that they removed the posts in question “for violating our policy against organized hate. Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol.” Here’s everything you need to know about this symbol of hate. Read Full Story

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