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How Facebook is changing its political ad-buying policies

Mark Zuckerberg just can’t quit political ads.

Facebook executives considered banning political ads after it was revealed that Russia used the social network to influence the 2016 presidential election, but the company’s billionaire CEO decided against it, according to a Thursday report.

The social network has, however, removed ad-sales employees’ incentives to run political ads by eliminating commissions for them, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The political ad-buying process will now be largely self-serve, according to the report, with Facebook staffers on hand to help campaigns register to purchase ads or help with other customer service needs.

Facebook’s salespeople will now be compensated with a higher base pay to make up for what they miss in commission, a rep told the Journal.

The changes will affect political campaigns at all levels, from presidents to mayors, Facebook said.

During the 2016 presidential election, both the Trump and Clinton campaigns received advertising advice from Facebook, according to the report. The Trump campaign in particular worked closely with Facebook because its digital staff was not as experienced as Clinton’s.

Separately on Thursday, Facebook announced that it pulled down more than 3 billion fake accounts between October and March 2019 — twice as many as in the previous six months.

Facebook has close to 2.4 billion monthly users, 5 percent of whom it estimates are fake. In the previous six-month period, it estimated 3 percent to 4 percent of accounts were bogus.

“For fake accounts, the amount of accounts we took action on increased due to automated attacks by bad actors who attempt to create large volumes of accounts at one time,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president for integrity, said in a blog post about the company’s new standards.

Facebook is now tracking metrics across a variety of categories to better measure the type of content that makes its way onto its Web site. The categories include adult nudity and sexual activity, bullying, child nudity and sexual exploitation, hate speech and terrorist propaganda.

The social network pulled down 4 million instances of hate speech in the same time period, it said. Facebook also reported that over the past three quarters, there were no fewer than 21 million instances of child nudity and sexual exploitation on its platform.

Facebook also took down nearly 1 million posts related to drug sales, along with 670,000 posts related to the sale of firearms.

Shares of Facebook finished down 2.4 percent Thursday, at $180.87.

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Written by Yaipoo

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