Facebook will temporarily stop all political ads on its platform after polls close on election night in the US
The company previously said new political ads had to be purchased more than a week before the election, but did not disclose the policy after the polls were completed.
Facebook said today that ads are an important tool for political expression, but that the ads are, but they will stop these ads to “reduce the chance for confusion or abuse” in moments after what may be a controversial and lengthy election, so Guy Rosen, VP of Integrity on Facebook. The ads will be posted for at least a week but are subject to change, said Sarah Schiff, product manager for political ads on Facebook.
Google recently passed a similar policy temporarily preventing new political ads from appearing on any of its platforms once the latest US polls are completed, “given the likelihood of delayed election results this year,” said Google spokeswoman Charlotte Smith in a statement at the time.
Facebook continued to tinker with its election schedules and political advertisement guidelines ahead of the November election. The company recently banned ads showing QAnon conspiracy content, ads that delegitimized elections, and announced that users could opt out of viewing political ads entirely.
Facebook’s shift in attitudes to political ads has previously been criticized on allegations that the move could hamper voting efforts. However, Facebook has been a major player in voter registration efforts on its platforms, recently reporting that it has registered 2.5 million users.
Facebook also announced on Wednesday that it would remove all calls in organic or paid posts so that people would “watch polls when those calls use militarized language” or intimidate voters or election officials. However, existing posts that violate this rule will not be retrospectively removed, including a post in which Donald Trump Jr. urged users to join an electoral security army.