Facebook is considering a ban on political ads for the run-up to the 2020 general elections, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
While the ban is currently under discussion, there are no immediate plans for its implementation. There are reportedly concerns that such a ban could hinder efforts to encourage people to vote, even as Facebook would not be responsible for allowing misleading political ads.
The company’s current policy is not to fact-check political ads, which allows for publication of misleading ads so long as they do not libel an opponent. That policy differs from the one at Twitter, which has already banned political ads on its platform.
Facebook has come under fire from Democrats who accuse the platform of enabling the use of misleading ads by the Trump campaign. Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s CEO, has refused to fact-check or label such ads, citing free-speech concerns.
“We think that it wouldn’t be right for us to do fact checks for politicians,” Zuckerberg told Fox News in May. “I certainly think our policies have distinguished us from some of the other tech companies in terms of being stronger on free expression and giving people a voice.”
Facebook has recently been the target of an advertising boycott by several major firms, organized by activist groups that allege Facebook has allowed the proliferation of racist or bigoted content on its platform. Most of the company’s $70 billion yearly revenue is drawn from advertising.
However, Zuckerberg has dismissed concerns over the boycott, reportedly telling employees that “advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”