How to Fact Check Political Ads on Social Media Ahead of 2020 Election

While Google limits the targeting of political advertisements and Twitter has banned them completely, Facebook has allowed them to continue on their platform without any fact-checking disclaimers on videos directly from political candidates

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America First Action, a political action committee supporting the reelection of President Trump has been circulating advertisements all over Facebook alleging that Democratic candidate Joe Biden supports defunding police departments. Fact-checking organizations like Politifact say those claims are simply not true.

"A group called America First Action, they ran a lot of ads saying Joe Biden wanted to defund the police last month I believe and we were able to say this is false and when people saw that on Facebook they were able to see our fact check attached to it," said Katie Sanders with Politifact.

Politifact works to fact-check posts and videos on Facebook and while disclaimers about misinformation are put on most videos, Facebook has a policy against putting disclaimers on advertisements from political candidates.

Politifact has also called out Biden for airing advertisements on television claiming that President Trump wants to defund social security. They say those claims are also not true.

"Joe Biden has been twisting what Trump said to suggest that he wants to defund social security altogether and that if he gets it his way social security will run out of money in three years and that’s a distortion of what Trump wants to do," Sanders said.

The fact-checkers say if you want to be a discerning voter: be alert to oversimplification of language on complex issues and go back to the primary sources and interviews and see what the candidates actually said in context before you make your opinion.

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