NEWS17 November 2020

Facebook extends US political ad ban

News North America Public Sector Technology US Election

US – Facebook has temporarily extended measures aimed at combating misinformation in the wake of the US election, including pausing political ads.

Person holding phone with Facebook login screen

Prior to the election, Facebook introduced changes including adding notices to candidates’ posts claiming victory, directing people to a page of information about the voting process.

The company did not accept any new political or issue-based ads in the week prior to the election and said it would pause all US political advertising indefinitely after the polls closed.

Facebook and Instagram users in the US continue to see the labels it has added to posts from Joe Biden, saying that he is the projected winner.

Donald Trump has so far refused to concede the election, held on 3rd November and won by Biden.

Rob Leathern, director of product management at Facebook, said in a Twitter post: “We are keeping the ad pause and other temporary election protection measures in place as that result moves towards certification next month.”

Two runoff elections for the US senate are set to take place in the state of Georgia on 5th January 2021.

Leathern said: “We know that people are disappointed that we can't immediately enable ads for runoff elections in Georgia and elsewhere. It’s taken years to build the infrastructure that supports the Facebook Ad Library and ensure that political ads are transparent.

“We do not have the technical ability in the short term to enable political ads by state or by advertiser, and we are also committed to giving political advertisers equal access to our tools and services.”