Meta is exploring changes to its policies around personalised and political advertising for users in Europe, according to media reports, as it aims to limit the impact of upcoming European Union regulations on its ad business.
Meta executives are discussing a ban on political ads in Europe due to concerns that Facebook and Instagram will be unable to comply with the new EU regulations targeting online campaigns, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
The executives fear the definition of political ads under EU plans will be so broad that it will be easier to refuse all paid-for political campaigns on the company's sites, the report said, citing two people briefed on the discussions.
Meanwhile, a Wall Street Journal report said Meta may allow European users of Facebook and Instagram to opt out of certain highly personalised ads, and offer a version of its services that would only target them with ads based on broad categories.
The potential policy tweak may happen as Meta faces a compliance deadline for a pair of rulings from Ireland's Data Protection Commission, which leads enforcement of the EU's main privacy law for the company, according to the Wall Stree Journal report.
Last December, the European Commission warned Meta that it was breaching EU antitrust laws by imposing unfair trading conditions on competing online classified ads services that advertise on Facebook and Instagram.
In February, EU lawmakers agreed to tougher rules on targeted political advertising, aimed at countering misinformation during elections. The proposed rules require US tech giants to provide more data on their targeted political ads, and impose fines up to 4 per cent of their global turnover for breaches.
Meta did not respond to requests from Reuters for comments on the two reports. -Reuters