Facebook has amended an earlier policy regarding political ads that offered users information about the source of ads on the platform, according to the Washington Examiner.
Under the new policy, “eligible” news outlets will be exempt from the ad policy.
The Examiner reported that Facebook changed the policy after it received complaints from news organizations whose names were connected to sponsored content.
These publishers argued that their names being connected to content related to a candidate or political issue might lead a reader to believe that the company supports said candidate or issue, when they are in fact just looking to promote news coverage of the subject.
Facebook initially resisted the pressure by their content creators, citing what they believed to be the more important goal of giving their users information about who was posting ads, according to the Examiner.
The social media giant argued that foreign governments had abused the platform to manipulate voters in 2016, and that the political ad disclosure would help prevent election meddling in the future.
In an announcement about the change, the company’s product management director, Rob Leathern, wrote, “We’ve since built more controls to help prevent politically motivated actors looking to use false news or sensationalism as weapons.”
“We’ll utilize this new process to ensure that ads from news outlets no longer get archived as the index rolls out more broadly,” he added. “We want to do all that we can to support journalism, and we know the inclusion of news ads has been problematic for a number of news organizations.”
“Uncovering who ultimately paid for a political ad is a challenge that goes beyond Facebook, but we know that we must make it a lot harder for bad actors to deceive or interfere on our platform.”
The announcement was made on Thursday, the same day that Facebook’s stock climbed 30 cents to $137.06 in New York trading, the Examiner reported.
However, despite the stock price increase, Facebook’s shares have fallen 22 percent overall this year.
The falling prices came as the social media company’s executives, including Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, were subject to questioning from Congress about their platform.
Congress inquired about not only their platform’s advertisements, but also about censorship and whether the company was discriminating against conservatives.
The falling stock prices have prompted some of the company’s investors, as well as three state governments, to push for Zuckerberg to give up his role as chairman of the company, and call for outside management.
State treasurers from Illinois, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania are backing the measure, according to the Examiner.
Zuckerberg, however, controls 59.9 percent of investor and voting power in the company.
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