Facebook restricts news outlets that have ties to political groups

Facebook’s News tab will no longer include news publishers that have political affiliations. 

The new policy announced on Tuesday allows news publishers with political ties to exist on the platform, but limits what features they can access. Publishers that are directly affiliated with a political entity or person can no longer claim the news exemption within Facebook’s ad authorization process, and they won’t be included in Facebook News. 

“As we head into election season in the U.S., we recognize that there are a growing number of news publications that are connected with different types of political entities, including political parties, PACs, politicians, and other organizations, that can primarily engage in the influence of public policy or elections,” Facebook said in its announcement. 

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Facebook said that the new restrictions would impact news pages owned by a political entity or person. The policy also includes news publishers that share Facebook proprietary information directly with a political person or entity.

These Facebook pages also won’t have access to Facebook’s Messenger Business Platform or the WhatsApp business APIs under the new policy. 

The social network is attempting to ramp up its efforts to be more transparent about its platform’s political content. 

Facebook introduced stricter rules for political ads last year that include disclaimers in ads, as well as requiring advertisers to show government credentials before running an ad. While these political ads are still not fact-checked or verified, Facebook gives users the option to turn off political ads altogether. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously said he wants to keep the platform as open as possible to let voters make their own political judgments. 

“Ultimately, I believe the best way to hold politicians accountable is through voting,” Zuckerberg said in a June op-ed in USA Today. 

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