Social media and its working with respect to polity is an absolutely fascinating study of how truly governments and electoral democracies rise and fall as per the internet sensibilities of people who consume a large chunk of knowledge and awareness via the cyber world. Time and again, people who use Facebook have been waylaid by their overt political advertisements, often propagating fake news. Social Media portals, like Twitter and conglomerates such as Google took great cognizance of how targeted political ads can be detrimental to free and authentic information dissemination.
Now Facebook hasn’t either taken it upon themselves to limit how political ads can latch onto a specific group of people, they aren’t also in the talks of offering a complete ban on these ads, but they have decided to put the accountability on the users. New transparency features have been put into place where people will have “more control over how many ads they see”. Now, of course it is still a thing of wonderment how this will actually come into practice, or how much sovereignty users will actually have. They said in a blogpost,
Seeing fewer political and social issue ads is a common request we hear from people. That’s why we plan to add a new control that will allow people to see fewer political and social issue ads on Facebook and Instagram. This feature builds on other controls in Ad Preferences we’ve released in the past, like allowing people to see fewer ads about certain topics or remove interests.
In the same blog, Facebook also says that,
Unlike Google, we have chosen not to limit targeting of these ads. We considered doing so, but through extensive outreach and consultations we heard about the importance of these tools for reaching key audiences from a wide range of NGOs, non-profits, political groups and campaigns, including both Republican and Democratic committees in the US.
You can read the full blog here, to know exactly why as the world grapples with the lack of fact checked targetted political ads and their associated commentary, is Facebook deciding to move in an opposite direction.