Facebook Extends Political Ad Ban

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Social media giant Facebook is extending its temporary ban on political ads across the platform.

ABC News reports that Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook is extending its ban on new political ads on the platform. In a post to the company’s blog, Facebook stated:

The temporary pause for ads about politics and social issues in the U.S. continues to be in place as part of our ongoing efforts to protect the election.

Advertisers can expect this to last another month, though there may be an opportunity to resume these ads sooner.

Facebook did not initially explain how long it would be pausing political ads in the United States, stating only that it would start after polls closed on November 3rd as part of its efforts to “reduce opportunities for confusion or abuse.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has expressed anger over Facebook’s continued political ads ban with DSCC Executive Director Scott Fairchild telling ABC News: “Organic disinformation is the actual problem on these platforms, and continuing to ban ads is now actively harmful to organizations working to inform Georgia’s diverse voters about the January runoffs. These ad bans are voter suppression plain and simple, they directly benefit Republican senators, and at a minimum there should be an exemption for ads in Georgia over the next two months.”

In October, Breitbart News reported that Joe Biden’s digital director, Rob Flaherty, took to Twitter to criticize the social media giant, stating that its advertising systems broke “within seconds of launching the silly, performative pre-election hoop-jumping exercise.”

A Biden spokesperson told Reuters that an undisclosed number of the Democratic candidate’s campaign ads were affected. In an effort to crack down on “misinformation,” Facebook announced that it would be imposing a moratorium on new political ads in the week before November 3.

At the time, the chief marketing officer of the Republican digital firm Campaign Solutions, Eric Frenchman, stated that several campaigns he was working with were affected by the pauses. Mark Jablonowski, the managing partner at DSPolitical, a digital firm working with Democratic causes, stated: “Votes are being cast every day, so anytime that you’re not able to communicate with voters in this crucial window is time lost.”

Since then, the glitch was fixed but appears to show that many advertisers have been angered by Facebook’s mishandling of advertising pauses. The continuation of political ad bans is likely to only anger advertisers and political campaigns further.