Facebook Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg said his company would not allow new political advertisements to run on the platform in the week before the U.S. presidential election.
The company will, however, allow ads that began running before the final week to remain.
And Zuckerberg did not say that Facebook would stop allowing politicians to run misleading ads in the meantime, allowing political candidates to show ads with lies until Election Day on Nov. 3.
In justifying the decision, the tech executive noted that the ads published before the final week of election season will be published transparently in Facebook’s Ads Library so that anyone can scrutinize them, including journalists and fact-checkers.
“It’s important that campaigns can run get-out-the-vote campaigns, and I generally believe the best antidote to bad speech is more speech, but in the final days of an election there may not be enough time to contest new claims,” Zuckerberg said in a statement on Thursday.
Facebook has come under scrutiny for allowing misinformation to proliferate on its platform in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Around 7 out of 10 adults in the U.S. use Facebook, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre in 2019, giving the company enormous ability to distribute political information.