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Facebook and Instagram will allow users to ‘see fewer’ political ads in time for the 2020 election

Facebook and Instagram will allow users to ‘see fewer’ political ads in time for the 2020 election
[Photo: Rob Hampson/Unsplash]

If your least favorite thing about Facebook is the political discourse that seems to permeate the platform, there’s some good news: Facebook has announced it will allow its users to opt into seeing “fewer” political ads in the run-up to the 2020 elections this fall.

Facebook made the announcement in a blog post by Rob Leathern, director of product management at the social media giant, on Thursday. In the post, which mainly focuses on changes to its Ad Library that allows people to view an archive of political ads on the platform, Leathern revealed the company will allow users to see fewer political ads as well as fewer ads about social issues:

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.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Facebook or Instagram will allow people to completely bar political and social ads from appearing in their feeds—the company is only promising them the ability to see “fewer” ad-based political content. Exactly how much “fewer” means in this context is unclear.

As for when this setting will go live for users, Leathern says the political ads control will roll out in the U.S. “early this summer” before expanding to new locations. That means that they’ll come in time before the 2020 election.

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