NEWS2 November 2020

‘Technical issues’ affect Facebook political ads

News North America US Election

US – Facebook adverts from both the Biden and Trump election campaigns have been mistakenly blocked by the social network.

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Facebook announced in September that it would not accept any new political adverts on its platform during the week prior to the US election as part of plans to tackle misinformation.

It said advertisers would be able to continue running existing ads and adjust their targeting.

Both the Biden and Trump campaigns reported difficulty running some Facebook ads after the restriction was brought in last week, according to a report from NBC News

In a blog dated 29th October, Facebook said: “We have identified a number of unanticipated issues affecting campaigns of both political parties. Some were technical problems. Others were because advertisers did not understand the instructions we provided about when and how to make changes to ad targeting.”

Facebook said “technical flaws” in the ability of its systems to detect that an ad had been recorded in its ad library caused ads to be “paused improperly” and prevented advertisers from making permissible changes.

“While this impacted a small proportion of the ads about politics and social issues in our system, we regret any disruption in the delivery of these ads during this period.”

On Sunday ( 1st November) Facebook updated its blog to say that it had not been able to resolve a technical issue affecting some adverts using “placement asset customisation and/or other dynamic creative mechanisms”. It said: “We do not expect to be able to resolve the technical issues affecting those ad types during the restriction period. We're informing the small group of advertisers affected by this.”