Social media platforms—like Facebook and Instagram—are a great place to communicate with people. Not only that, but many others are using it as an outlet, something many political campaigns are now taking advantage of. With an election on the horizon, political advertisements abound on these platforms. Of course, not everyone wants their feeds cluttered with these ads… especially if these ads don’t align with their own politics.
This is why it’s a little surprising how few people know that you can turn off political ads.
This is one more part of Facebook’s recent election efforts, along with the information center that was recently rolled out. Deployed in June, this feature enables a user to block all advertisements from candidates, organizations, and Super PACs that are social, political, or electoral in nature from appearing on their Facebook or Instagram feed at all.
Basically, if an advertisement needs to disclose that it was paid for by a particular group or interest, users can block these posts preventatively. For this tip of the week, we will look at how to control Facebook and Instagram ads.
How to Deactivate Political Ads
There are a few routes you can take to avoid seeing political ads (or indeed, ads for assorted other topics) on your Facebook and Instagram streams, without having to get yourself off the platforms altogether.
To adjust the ads that appear on your Facebook feed, you first need to navigate to the Settings & Privacy section of the app or website. From there, navigate to Settings > Ads > Ad Preferences > Ad Topics. You’ll find assorted subjects that you can filter through, minimizing the number of ads you see discussing these topics. You could also do this for other topics of ads you aren’t very keen on.
Alternatively, if you come across an ad that you want to see less of as you’re scrolling through your feed, there are steps that you can take. Political ads should have a tag in the top-right corner that marks them as coming from a Confirmed Organization. Accessing that tag will open up a new window that allows you to see who paid for the ad, why this ad is presented to you, and, most applicably to our purposes here, again elect to see fewer ads about this topic.
You can learn more about the ins and outs of Facebook Ads here.
The process for deactivating ads in Instagram is predictably like Facebook’s, given that they’re actually both run by Facebook. In your Instagram account, simply navigate to your Settings, Privacy and Security, and simply select See fewer ads for the appropriate options.
Similarly, if you encounter an ad on your stream that you want to avoid, you can select Paid for by and, in turn, See fewer ads like this.
More information on Instagram Ads can be found here.
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