Social media giant Facebook has finally lifted its ban on political ads this week, ending a months-long restriction set by the site after the November 2020 general election.
Politico reports that Facebook has announced that it will be lifting its ban on political ads on the site this week after it stopped all political ads on platform following the November 2020 general election.
Facebook’s decision comes just one week after Google decided to allow political advertisements back on its platform. Facebook and Google, which combined attracted more than $3 billion in political spending during the 2020 cycle, both instituted political and issue-advocacy ad bans in an effort to curb election “misinformation.”
But the ban on political ads has lasted well into the first months of the Biden administration and was only partially lifted ahead of the Georgia Senate runoffs in early January. The removal of the ban apparently shocked digital strategists for both Democrats and Republicans who were not give any advanced warning of the policy change.
Annie Levene, a Democratic digital consultant, commented: “It’s been an incredibly frustrating few months because people hire us to build lists, raise money and communicate with voters. But you can’t do that when Facebook is being so erratic with the policies they’re rolling out. It kept us all flat-footed.”
Digital strategists from both parties were critical of the decision to shut down political advertising, arguing that it cut off access to potential supporters who fuel fundraising and organizing across the country.
Michael Duncan, a Republican digital consultant, commented: “There’s bipartisan agreement that Facebook is a critical, powerful tool for just how many people you can reach. Not having that tool put everyone at a disadvantage, especially coming out of the 2020 cycle, when more candidates than ever are trying to figure out this space.”
Read more at Politico here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com