Facebook on Thursday defied public calls to adopt significant new limits on political advertising ahead of the 2020 presidential election, opting instead to introduce minor changes that it said would give users a measure of control over the ads they see.
The company’s new rules continue to permit politicians to make false claims in their posts — including ones they pay Facebook to promote — and preserve the powerful yet controversial tools that have long helped Democrats and Republicans deliver messaging to narrowly segmented audiences on the social networking site.
Pressure on Facebook to rethink its approach to political ads came from a wide array of federal regulators, digital experts and privacy advocates, as well as some of the company’s own employees. They argued that its policies coarsened American political debate and exposed users to serious risks, including viral disinformation, which malicious actors could pay to promote on the site.
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