Facebook is rolling out a new feature that allows users to control whether an advertisers can show adverts to them via Custom Audience list or not. The addition has been made to ensure that users don’t see unwanted political or social ads.
Custom Audiences are created when an advertiser uploads a list of people’s information such as emails or phone numbers.
“This control will be available to all people on Facebook and will apply to all advertisers, not just those running political or social issue ads,” the company wrote in a blog post.
Facebook added that people had been able to hide all ads from specific advertisers from the Ad Preferences menu. However, they can now stop seeing ads based on Custom Audiences from a list.
The social network has boosted its commitment to make its ads more transparent ahead of the 2020 US elections.
For example, it launched its Ad Library to do just that: now everyone can search through political campaigns – past and present.
“This is an important step in making political ads more transparent and advertisers more accountable: the public can see every ad served to anyone in an easily searchable database.”
Users of Ad Library can now also check out the audience size of an ad. This provides useful information on how many people an advertiser wanted to reach.
Facebook has also added better search and filtering by exact phrases and plans to add a feature that allows people to see fewer political ads on both Facebook and Instagram.
The social network has been widely criticised for its political advertising policies. In the latest blog post, the company commented by writing:
“In the absence of regulation, Facebook and other companies are left to design their own policies. We have based ours on the principle that people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public. This does not mean that politicians can say whatever they like in advertisements on Facebook. All users must abide by our Community Standards, which apply to ads and include policies that, for example, ban hate speech, harmful content and content designed to intimidate voters or stop them from exercising their right to vote. We regularly disallow ads from politicians that break our rules.”