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Tech & Science How Facebook, Twitter, and others approach political advertising

05:30  14 december  2019
05:30  14 december  2019 Source:   qz.com

Snapchat CEO says his company fact-checks political ads, unlike Facebook

  Snapchat CEO says his company fact-checks political ads, unlike Facebook But it’s not like there’s that many for the company to review“We subject all advertising to review, including political advertising,” Spiegel said in an interview on CNBC. “And I think what we try to do is create a place for political ads on our platform, especially because we reach so many young people and first-time voters we want them to be able to engage with the political conversation, but we don’t allow things like misinformation to appear in that advertising.

Facebook made this approach clear recently, with its CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that private companies should not be censoring politicians. Some of them, like Twitter and TikTok, banned political advertising altogether. Others , like Snapchat, allowed it but said they would check the ads ’

The action by Twitter is a stark contrast to how Facebook handles political advertising .Credit She and all of the other leading Democratic presidential candidates have advertised on Twitter , as has But Twitter ads make up a small fraction of what the presidential candidates have spent on digital

Jack Dorsey looking at the camera © Provided by Quartz

Leading up to the UK parliamentary elections this week, a staggering number of Facebook campaign ads were deemed misleading by watchdog organizations. This is, in part, due to Facebook’s own policies, which stipulate that the company does not fact-check political advertising.

Facebook made this approach clear recently, with its CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that private companies should not be censoring politicians. Other major platforms and online services clarified or introduced new political ad policies as well, taking very different tacks.

Some of them, like Twitter and TikTok, banned political advertising altogether. Others, like Snapchat, allowed it but said they would check the ads’ veracity. Policies also vary depending on the region of the world.

Spotify says will skip political ads in 2020

  Spotify says will skip political ads in 2020 Online music giant Spotify said Friday it would suspend political advertising in early 2020, becoming the latest digital giant to act on concerns over disinformation ahead of the US election. The move by Spotify, which is headquartered in Sweden but has a large base of users and operations in the United States, followed Twitter's ban on most political ads and Google's decision to limit how ads are targeted.Spotify, which has some 130 million users, many of whom subscribe to its ad-supported model, said it made the decision because it lacked the ability to identify and filter false information.

Twitter has decided to ban all political ads on its platform, while Facebook continues to allow even “While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers , that Facebook , on the other hand, has tried to avoid playing referee in political debates by declining to

This approach has upended traditional approaches to political advertising , in ways that campaigns are only beginning to reckon with. A Facebook spokesperson said ad costs fluctuated for both candidates during the campaign, and that at different times each candidate had the advantage.

In the United States, traditional media are more strictly regulated when it comes to accepting political ads, and laws actually dictate what media organizations can and can’t do. For example, broadcast media, such as the TV networks NBC or CBS, are obliged to take any ad for a candidate for federal office. But cable companies have more discretion, and can reject ads they deem as false. But US lawmakers have not passed regulations for online political advertising, leaving any rules up to the platforms themselves.

Here’s how the policies on political advertising for major online platforms break down (or view a scrollable version):

a screenshot of a cell phone: Table of information showing which policies apply to which platforms © Provided by Quartz Table of information showing which policies apply to which platforms

Pandora’s spokesperson said the company would “pass” on Quartz’s request for comment.

Google updates political ads policy with targeting restrictions

  Google updates political ads policy with targeting restrictions The search giant also says it will ban deepfakes and "demonstrably false" claims in ads.The search giant also spelled out clearer guidelines on what kinds of ads are prohibited from its platforms. The company said "deepfakes," or digitally doctored images and videos, aren't allowed. Google is also banning "demonstrably false claims that could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process." The company noted, though, that it's difficult to judge every claim or insinuation made in an ad.

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Facebook , Twitter , and Google will testify to Congress. Image: stefan zaklin/getty images. The hearings are a major turning point for these companies and how the U.S. treats them. Google and Facebook have thus far been allowed to grow into massive, global companies with little government

Full transparency in online political advertising includes disclosing each ads’ content, detailed information on who paid for it, how the buyer’s identity was verified, how the ad was targeted, and who ended up seeing the ad. None of the platforms are completely transparent, although Facebook, which has faced the most criticism for profiting from political manipulation, has the most built-out political ads database. Facebook’s system, however, is far from perfect—in the UK, days before the recent election, thousands of ads disappeared from the archive. Snapchat’s database is just a downloadable spreadsheet, and Google’s archive is quite clunky to use and has a history of omissions of its own.

Some argue that microtargeting, which allows advertisers to show ads to very specific segments of users—such as young mothers or African-American students—while remaining invisible to everyone else, should be banned completely for political ads. Google said it would only allow basic targeting for its political ads starting in 2020, letting advertisers use general factors like geography, age, and gender. Facebook is reportedly considering the idea as well.

Google reportedly mulling changes to political ads policy

  Google reportedly mulling changes to political ads policy The discussions come as Facebook and Twitter follow different paths on the issue.Google has been holding internal meetings on possible changes to the policy and is expected to share more information with its employees as soon as this week, sources told the Journal. The changes could be related to audience targeting, employees told the paper.

How do advertisers register? To run political ads for federal elections, advertisers will have have to self-identify and verify themselves. For Facebook and Twitter , candidates and committees must provide their FEC ID, and individuals or non-FEC registered organizations will have to submit a

Facebook ’s policy changes and lawmakers’ calls for new rules illustrate just how much has changed in a decade — for both Facebook and government regulators. When the FEC instituted rules in 2006 governing political advertising on the internet, it took a light-touch approach , and was even hailed

Snapchat allows microtargeting, points out the Financial Times, and recently has seen a rapid rise in political advertising, according to the watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics. And political advertisers are expected to find other ways to microtarget audiences on Google by going through special intermediaries that have access to some targeting tools.

Banning political ads completely seemingly eliminates issues with targeting or fact-checking. But there are problems with this solution as well. Twitter prohibited ads related to any issues it defined as political, which in effect banned advocacy organizations from promoting their causes. And, after all, whether a platform allows or bans political ads, and whether it fact-checks them or not, it’s important to remember that politicians can use their own, free accounts, like Donald Trump and his Twitter, to spread their message.

Facebook is building an Instagram-style Close Friends feature .
‘Favorites’ sorts your actual friends from your Facebook acquaintancesThe feature, currently under development under the name “Favorites,” was first discovered by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, before its existence was confirmed to TechCrunch by Facebook directly. It’s a similar approach to Instagram’s “Close Friends” feature, which the Facebook owned network rolled out last year.

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