Technology

Meta to stop all new political advertising in final week before 2022 midterms


Meta said Tuesday it has begun preparing for the midterm elections, including by fighting White supremacists’ interference and by planning to halt political ads in the final week before the November elections.

Meta President Nick Clegg wrote that the social media titan has hundreds of people spread across 40 teams focused on the U.S. midterms. Mr. Clegg is a former U.K. deputy prime minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats who handles Meta’s interactions with governments around the world.

“Our teams fight both foreign interference and domestic influence operations, and have exposed and disrupted dozens of networks that have attempted to interfere with U.S. elections,” Mr. Clegg wrote on Meta’s blog. “We’ve banned more than 270 white supremacist organizations, and removed 2.5 million pieces of content tied to organized hate globally in the first quarter of 2022.”

Mr. Clegg said his company is spending money on “proactive threat detection” and would expand its policies to address coordinated harassment and threats against election officials and poll workers.

Following from its 2020 playbook, Meta is also planning to pause all new political, electoral, and social issue ads in the final week before the 2022 election. Ads that have previously aired will continue to do so but any edits of the existing ads will also be blocked.

“Our rationale for this restriction period remains the same as 2020: in the final days of an election, we recognize there may not be enough time to contest new claims made in ads,” Mr. Clegg wrote. “This restriction period will lift the day after the election and we have no plans to extend it.”

Mr. Clegg said Meta is working with the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, state and local election officials, and others in the private sector to make sure that the tech company is prepared for the coming election.





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