Facebook’s moderation of issue ads and promoted news content rankled some publishers and advocacy groups that had campaigns identified as political and unexpectedly quashed.
“We had a choice about how broad would we paint the transparency brush and decided that the goal is transparency so we’re erring on the side of being more transparent and including more,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told reporters.
Delays are frustrating, especially for publishers unable to promote news, when they must confirm their status with Facebook, Sandberg said.
But Facebook is willing to forego immediacy to ensure its transparency program doesn’t miss content it should moderate.
Many analysts expected social media platforms to focus on candidates and avoid issue advocacy, since the Federal Election Commission only regulates ads by federal campaigns and national parties.
But that isn’t going to cut it for Facebook or Twitter.
The Russian intel operations using Facebook’s and Twitter’s media platforms during the 2016 campaigns, for instance, rarely touched on specific candidates.
Any pitfalls when content is misidentified as political are natural growing pains as social media companies change how they think about platform responsibilities, Sandberg said.