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Here’s how to turn off political ads on Facebook and Instagram

Sadly, there is still no sign Facebook will attempt to improve the online political landscape by fact-checking misleading claims by politicians.

Here’s how to turn off political ads on Facebook and Instagram
[Photo: NordWood Themes/Unsplash]

The U.S. presidential election is less than five months away, which means political activity on Facebook is about to go into overdrive. Yes, much of that activity will be from people shouting their political opinions into the digital void, but another large chunk of that activity will come from an explosion of political ads on Facebook and its sister app, Instagram.

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Thankfully, Facebook has announced it is letting U.S. users turn off political ads so none show in their feeds on Facebook and Instagram. As the company announced in a blog post:

Starting today for some people and rolling out to everyone in the US over the next few weeks, people will be able to turn off all social issue, electoral or political ads from candidates, Super PACs or other organizations that have the “Paid for by” political disclaimer on them.

The company is giving users two ways to shut off political ads on Facebook and Instagram—via a political ad itself, or via the platform’s existing ad settings. Here’s how to do both:

On Facebook, via a political ad:

  1. Click the “Confirmed Organization” button on any political ad you see.
  2. In the pop-up menu, select “See fewer ads about this topic.”
  3. Then tap the big blue “See fewer ads about this topic” button that appears and you’re done.

On Facebook, via ad settings:

  1. In the Facebook app, tap the menu button (the three stacked bars).
  2. Tap the Settings button.
  3. Tap Ad Preferences.
  4. Tap Ad Topics.
  5. Tap “Social Issues, Elections or Politics.”
  6. Tap “See fewer ads about this topic.”

On Instagram, via a political ad:

  1. Click the “Paid for by” button on any political ad you see.
  2. In the pop-up menu, select “See fewer ads like this.”

On Instagram, via ad settings:

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  1. In the Instagram app, tap the menu button (the three stacked bars).
  2. Tap the Settings button.
  3. Tap Ads.
  4. Tap Ad Topics Preferences.
  5. Tap the “Social Issues, Elections or Politics” radio button so it turns blue.
  6. Tap the Save button.

After Facebook finishes the ability to turn off political ads in the U.S., the company says it expects to roll out the feature to other countries in the future. Sadly, there is still no sign Facebook will attempt to improve the online political landscape by fact-checking misleading claims by politicians. Ah, well, there’s always Twitter.

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