- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 11, 2020

In a statement posted online Wednesday, Facebook said that its pause on political advertising would continue for ‘another month.’

Previously, Facebook decided to block all new political and issue ads in the final week before the November election and said it would stop running all political, issue, and electoral ads when the polls closed on November 3.

The decision to extend the ban came with an explanation from Facebook that said it may later choose to shorten the length of the ban.

“The temporary pause for ads about politics and social issues in the U.S. continues to be in place as part of our ongoing efforts to protect the election,” said Facebook in a statement. “Advertisers can expect this to last another month, though there may be an opportunity to resume these ads sooner.”

The political ad blockade on Facebook comes as control of the U.S. Senate is expected to be decided in runoff elections for Georgia’s senate seats in January. U.S. Senate candidates in Georgia needed to surpass 50% of the vote in November’s election to avoid a January run-off election.

Since no candidate has yet met the threshold, both incumbent GOP Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are headed for runoffs against Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, respectively.

Facebook’s decision on Wednesday rankled some political professionals who were already questioning how the social media platform’s advertising policies could upend campaigns.

“Faceook [sic] should make an exception to their ad ban for the GA-Sen runoff,” said Tim Tagaris, former digital fundraising director for Sen. Bernard Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, on Twitter. “Extending the ad ban for a race everyone agrees is in a runoff consciously advantages self-funding Loeffler and Perdue and disadvantages Warnock and Ossoff who rely on small dollar donations and volunteers.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week regarding how Facebook has handled 2020 election content.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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