Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced a significant change in its advertising policy. This adjustment will allow political ads on its platforms to question the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election.
This decision marks a notable shift in the company’s approach to election-related content moderation.
Policy Shift Ahead of the 2024 Presidential Contest
Meta's policy change, part of a broader rollback in content moderation practices among major social media platforms, comes as the United States gears up for the 2024 presidential election.
The policy will enable Meta to derive financial benefits from political ads that promote claims questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election. Although these ads can challenge past election outcomes, such as the 2020 race, Meta's policy prohibits advertisements that undermine the validity of upcoming or current elections.
This development, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, is a component of a policy update that was introduced a year ago but has not received extensive media coverage. Meta clarified that this adjustment, allowing claims of 2020 election denialism in political ads, was announced in August 2022, in relation to its strategy for last year’s midterm elections.
Biden Campaign Reacts to Meta's Policy
The decision by Meta has drawn sharp criticism from President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign. TJ Ducklo, a communications advisor for the campaign, expressed disappointment in a statement to CNN, accusing Meta of opting to profit from election denialism.
“We wish we could say we were surprised Meta is choosing to profit off of election denialism, but it seems to be a feature of theirs, not a bug,” Ducklo said. Ducklo further accused Meta of having amplified the falsehoods behind the 'stop the steal' movement.
“Now they’re coming for its cash. Joe Biden won the election in 2020 clearly, unequivocally, and fairly – no matter what Meta chooses to promote,” he added. Meta's latest policy stance raises critical questions about the role of social media platforms in political discourse and their responsibility in curbing misinformation.
As the 2024 presidential election approaches, the impact of this policy change on the political landscape and public discourse will be closely scrutinized.