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Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Facebook said Thursday it will give consumers the option to stop seeing political ads in their feeds moving forward.

Why it matters: Facebook has been heavily criticized for its policies around political ads, especially for its decision not to fact-check political ads.

Details: In a blog post on Thursday, Facebook Director of Product Management Rob Leathern said that seeing fewer political and issue ads "is a common request we hear from people."

  • Yes, but: Facebook admits it can't guarantee that some political ads won’t slip through the cracks and reach users who opt out, as the platform can't necessarily promise it can track every political ad on its platform.

The big picture: The decision was made alongside a slew of other updates to Facebook’s political ad policies, including allowing users to see the potential reach of political ads and giving them better search options to find political ads within its library.

Between the lines: One of the new controls that Facebook is rolling out will have implications far beyond politics.

  • Facebook also explained that later this month it will give users the ability to chose how advertisers targeting users via Facebook's "custom audiences" system can reach them. Advertisers who use the custom audiences approach to make ad targeting more efficient are allowed to create lists using data they have on people, like customer sales lists.
  • The control will apply to all advertisers, not just political advertisers, meaning consumers could limit how a retail or entertainment advertiser targets them using lists.

Our thought bubble: The historic levels of investment in political ads this cycle, especially on platforms like Google and Facebook, means that users are being bombarded with political messaging now more than ever. Political fatigue is likely starting to set in.

Go deeper: Democrats unimpressed with Facebook‘s new deepfakes policy

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”