As the 2020 election ramps up, political ads are likely to infiltrate your social media feeds. If you’d rather they not appear, here’s how to banish them from your Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Tired of seeing political ads on Facebook and Instagram? Unless Facebook decides to ban them, you’re about to see a lot more as the November 2020 election gets closer. Thankfully, there is a way to prevent these kinds of ads from popping up on your feed. Both Facebook and Instagram allows you to turn off political ads, either by blocking them as they appear or by going directly to your ad settings. Here’s what you can do.
Disable Political Ads on Facebook
You can hide an individual ad, as well as all future political ads, via the Facebook app or website. The process is the same for both, but we’ll use the app for the examples below.
If you’re on Facebook and find a political ad you no longer want to see on your timeline, click the ellipsis icon in the upper right of the ad. From the list of options, tap Hide ad. You are then asked to identify why you want to hide the ad. Depending on the type of ad, you can choose from such reasons as sensitive topic, irrelevant, misleading or scam, offensive, spam, false news, or other. Pick the reason and tap Done.
The next screen then suggests other steps you can take. If you’re finished, tap Done. But you can also use this opportunity to banish other ads from this source. To do that, tap the option to Hide all ads from [name of the source]. At the next screen, tap the Undo button if you change your mind. Otherwise, a message appears in place of the ad saying that you won’t see this ad in your News Feed.
Here’s another way to block all ads from the same source. Tap the ellipsis icon in the upper right of the ad and select Why am I seeing this ad? The next screen tries to explain why this ad popped up on your News Feed. To stop all such ads in the future, tap the option to Hide all ads from this advertiser.
You can turn off all political ads if you don’t want to see any of them. If you’ve found a political ad, look for a button that says Confirmed Organization and tap it. You can also tap the (i) icon that appears after the Confirmed Organization button vanishes. Alternatively, tap the text indicating that the ad was sponsored and paid for by a specific organization.
At the next screen, tap the option to See fewer ads about this topic: Social Issues, Elections, or Politics. Confirm your action by tapping the button to See fewer ads about this topic.
You can also turn off all political ads through the Ad settings option. In the Facebook app, tap the hamburger icon in the lower right and select Settings & Privacy > Settings > Ad Preferences > Ad Topics. Tap the three-dot icon next to the entry for Social Issues, Elections or Politics and then select the command to See fewer ads about this topic.
Disable Political Ads on Instagram
Instagram also allows you to hide an individual ad, political or otherwise. Tap the ellipsis icon at the top right of the ad and select Hide Ad. The next screen asks why you don’t want to see this ad. You can choose from such reasons as It’s not relevant, I see it too often, and It’s inappropriate. The ad then disappears.
You can turn off all political ads a couple of different ways. In the ad, tap the text that says Paid for by… and at the next screen, tap the link that says See Fewer Ads Like This.
Alternatively, tap the profile icon in the lower right and go through your account settings. Tap the hamburger icon and select Settings > Ads >Ad Topic Preferences. Tap the circle for Social Issues, Elections or Politics to turn off those types of ads, then tap Save.