NEWS8 October 2020

Facebook to halt US political advertising after election

News North America Public Sector US Election

US – Facebook will stop running all political advertising in the United States indefinitely after the polls close on the day of the forthcoming presidential election.

Person holding phone with Facebook login screen

In an announcement yesterday ( 7th October), Facebook outlined changes it is making to its policies in a bid to “protect the integrity of the election by fighting foreign interference, misinformation and voter suppression”.

The company said it would halt social issue, electoral or political ads in the US on 3rd November, after the polls close, “to reduce opportunities for confusion or abuse”.

It did not share a timeline for when political ads would return but said it would notify advertisers when the policy has been lifted.

In early September, the company announced it would not accept any new political or issue-based ads in the week prior to the elections. However, advertisers will be able to continue running political ads that started before the final week of the election campaign and adjust the targeting for those ads.

As part of the changes announced yesterday, Facebook said it will add a notification to the top of feeds when the polls have closed and label candidates’ posts to direct people to a page of information about the voting process.

If a candidate contests the final results, the social network said it will show the name of the winning candidate as reported by major media outlets at the top of feeds.

Facebook previously said it would direct people to the official results from Reuters and the National Election Pool, if a candidate or campaign attempted to declare a premature victory

Facebook also announced this week that it would remove any pages, groups and accounts representing conspiracy theory group QAnon. The move to ban such accounts is an update of its previous approach, which was that they would be removed only if discussing potential violence.