The first day of Facebook’s planned efforts to block new political ads on the platform has reportedly been affected by a number of glitches.
As Facebook attempts to prevent new political ads on its platform ahead of the upcoming presidential election, many political advertisers have slammed the social media giants over a number of glitches impacting the platform.
Reuters reports that Joe Biden’s digital director, Rob Flaherty, took to Twitter to criticize the social media giant, stating that its systems broke “within seconds of launching the silly, performative pre-election hoop-jumping exercise.”
A Biden spokesperson told Reuters that an undisclosed number of the Democratic candidate’s campaign ads were affected. In an effort to crack down on “misinformation,” Facebook announced that it would be imposing a moratorium on new political ads in the week before November 3.
classic @Facebook here: they stopped new political ads from being published at 12:01AM this morning (a deadline they set months ago) & now tons of previously approved ads have been deactivated across the platform & the issue still hasn't been resolved & now the rules are changing pic.twitter.com/JY0EIEb9pR
— lynne (@lynnejansons) October 27, 2020
Facebook stopped accepting new ads related to political issues on Tuesday and stated that it would allow pre-existing ads to run during that period but would block any adjustments to the ads’ content or design.
Facebook’s director of product management Rob Leathern said on Twitter: “We’re investigating the issues of some ads being paused incorrectly, and some advertisers having trouble making changes to their campaigns.”
Facebook reportedly reached out to digital strategists with a message stating that a “subset of ads may show as paused” and blamed “data lags,” for the error. Many digital strategists are complaining that the issues are arising at a key time for political candidates.
The chief marketing officer of the Republican digital firm Campaign Solutions, Eric Frenchman, stated that several campaigns he was working with were affected by the pauses. Mark Jablonowski, the managing partner at DSPolitical, a digital firm working with Democratic causes, stated: “Votes are being cast every day, so anytime that you’re not able to communicate with voters in this crucial window is time lost.”