Facebook and Instagram will let users ‘turn off’ all political ads

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Seeing ads in your Facebook and Instagram feeds comes with the territory of using the social network and these ads were used intentionally manipulate the users about various social issues and in last US elections. But over the next few weeks, Facebook will let you turn off all political ads. The announcement comes as the protests against social injustice continue and the 2020 US election cycle ramps up.

The feature first announced earlier this year will roll out to all US Facebook users over the next few weeks, according to a blog post from the company. You'll be able to prevent all social issue, electoral or political ads from candidates, Super PACs or other organizations that have the "Paid for by" political disclaimer on them from populating your stream. 

The optional feature is part of Facebook's wider efforts around voting, including a new voter centre that will give people information about how and when to vote, voter registration, voting by mail and early voting. 

Once the feature reaches your account, you'll have two different ways to turn off political ads on Facebook and Instagram. 

How to turn off political ads on Facebook

To preemptively turn off political ads before you see them, on the Facebook app or website,

  1. go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Ads > Ad Preferences.
  2. Tap Ad Topics > Social issues, elections or politics
  3. tap See fewer ads about this topic

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Or through a political ad in your Facebook feed

  1. Pick any political ad you come across in your Facebook feed (marked as “Paid by” a political campaign, candidate, or group).
  2. Tap the Confirmed Organization button.
  3. In the pop-up menu, tap See fewer ads about this topic

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How to turn off political ads on Instagram

The process is similar for turning off political ads on the Facebook-owned Instagram: You can go into your account settings and ad topics and select See fewer ads about social issues, elections and politics. 

Or, if you scroll past a political ad, you can tap where it says Paid for by and tap See fewer ads like this

While the new options are rolling out in the US to start, Facebook is planning to make this feature available to countries where the platform has enforcement on ads about social issues, elections and politics in the fall, the social network said.