Why Facebook’s political-ad ban is taking on the wrong problem

The bigger problem 

But the true strength of online political advertising has been in sowing discord. Social-media networks function by running powerful content recommendation algorithms that are known to put people in echo chambers of narrow information and have at times been gamed by powerful actors. Instead of getting voters to switch their position, political messages delivered this way are actually much more effective at fragmenting public opinion. They don’t persuade voters to change their behavior as much as they reinforce the beliefs of already-decided voters, often pushing them into a more extreme position than before. That means the ads

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