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Facebook bans political ads, YouTube’s new warnings

Facebook to halt political ads indefinitely after US election

Facebook has announced their enforcement of a temporary ban on political ads following the US presidential election, as it braces upcoming debates.

“We plan to temporarily stop running all social issues, electoral or political ads in the US after the polls close on 3 November, to reduce opportunities for confusion or abuse.”

Facebook’s advertising blackout follows a declaration made in September that the social network would not accept any new political ad campaigns in the week before the 3 November vote. 

Sensing a looming PR disaster comparable to that of 2016, Facebook has now gone even further by banning any social, electoral and political ads until further notice after the vote, in anticipation of a prolonged period of uncertainty post-count.

No timeline has been given for any lifting of the ad ban, although Facebook has pledged to notify advertisers when the policy is lifted. It will be interesting to see when Facebook choose to lift these bans.

Current U.S presidential candidate, Joe Biden has been vocal in criticising the platform for their failure in acting against fake news articles around mail-in voting, castigating its moderation policies as a ‘regression’.

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YouTube Tests New Warnings on Potentially Harmful Comments, Auto-Deletion of 'Held for Review' Comments

YouTube is testing two new features designed to address potentially harmful comments, with new reminder prompts when users include certain terms in their responses, and the automatic removal of ‘Held for Review’ comments after 60 days.

Similar to Instagram releasing their warning prompts, which are triggered when its system detects terms in comments that are similar to those that have previously been reported, YouTube is trying out essentially the same process for its video responses.

As per YouTube:

“To help encourage more respectful interactions on YouTube, we’re testing out a reminder that pops up before you post a potentially offensive comment, giving you a moment to reflect on your comment and revise your reply/comment before it’s published. From the reminder, you can move forward with posting your comment as is, or take a few extra moments to edit your comment before posting it.”

They clearly have some benefits as Instagram received postive results due to them expanding their automated warnings last year.

YouTube has been working to clean up its comments for some time, by removing comments completely on videos aimed at younger audiences. Prompting a quick re-think is the next stage in this broader effort.  

In addition to this, YouTube will also test a new process that will delete ‘Held for Review’ comments after 60 days, if the Channel owner doesn’t take action on them.

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