Facebook got big headlines today for its decision to ban political ads in the final week of the presidential race, its latest move aimed at battling misinformation ahead of the November election. The impact the ban will have is debatable. A less flashy update to Facebook’s Messenger app, also announced today, will likely have a more structural, long-term effect on the flow of misinformation through the social network.
According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the temporary ban is meant to avoid a situation where there wasn’t enough time before Election Day to contest potentially false claims in ads . It also serves as protection against any enforcement lapses by Facebook on political ads.