Facebook has announced it is lifting a ban on political advertising that was put in place leading up to the 2020 election, but the unbanning includes some stipulations.
Starting Wednesday, the platform will allow ads for political issues and candidates, but only in the state of Georgia. In addition, only “authorized” advertisers will be allowed to run such ads. (RELATED: Some Democrats Eye Chance For Big Tech Regulation Under Biden)
SCOOP – Facebook to lift political ad ban for Georgia ONLY as of tomorrow, per a source familiar w/ the decision.
— Elena Schneider (@ec_schneider) December 15, 2020
Facebook requires an authorization process to run certain kinds of political and social issue ads which includes identity verification and “other safety measures,” according to the New York Times. Facebook’s announcement says it will not allow any ads targeted outside the state of Georgia, and any ad that “includes content debunked by third-party fact-checkers or delegitimizes the Georgia runoff elections” will be rejected.
Facebook initially stopped accepting new ad purchases related to the election a week before the polls opened, and stopped running political ads entirely in the United States after the polls closed, the NYT reports. The ban has continued indefinitely until now, having been extended as post-election disputes were pursued by the Trump campaign.
Sarah Schiff, the Facebook product manager in charge of political advertising, said the company has “heard feedback from experts and advertisers across the political spectrum about the importance of expressing voice [sic] and using our tools to reach voters ahead of Georgia’s runoff elections,” according to the Times. (RELATED: Stacey Abrams Continued To Not Wear A Mask Inside The Georgia Capitol As Presiding Officer)
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Scott Fairchild has previously said that banning political ads leading up to the Georgia runoff elections amounted to “voter suppression.”