Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Facebook Changes Policies to Allow Advertisers to Lie

Judd Legum in his Popular Information newsletter:1

Prior to last week, Facebook had a rule against running any ads with “false and misleading” content: “Ads, landing pages, and business practices must not contain deceptive, false, or misleading content, including deceptive claims, offers, or methods.”

But today, category 13 of prohibited content has been narrowed significantly. Now, Facebook only “prohibits ads that include claims debunked by third-party fact checkers or, in certain circumstances, claims debunked by organizations with particular expertise.”

The old rules prohibited all ads that contained “false” and “misleading” content and made no mention of the fact-checking program. The new rules are limited to claims that are “debunked by third-party fact checkers.”

Moreover, Facebook says “political figures” are exempt from even that narrow restriction.

Not too long ago, Facebook bragged on its advertising case studies page about how effective their ads were for political campaigns. Last year, however, the company hid that category as it publicly pretend that it couldn’t possibly influence an election. And those ads were supposed to be factual. What happens when notoriously unscrupulous leaders are able to exploit highly-targeted creepy advertising to lie to people directly with the support of Facebook’s policies?


  1. This webpage is horrible and I’m sorry to subject readers to it. Click “let me read it first” to dismiss the full-page subscription screen. ↩︎