- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Facebook is lifting its political ad ban amid mounting criticism from the Democratic Party. As Democratic lawmakers are considering cracking down on Facebook, their party’s leadership attacked Facebook’s political ad ban for allegedly hampering Democratic candidates’ campaigns. 

While the Democratic-controlled Congress is debating breaking up Facebook and considering other avenues to curb its authority, the party leadership is howling that the company is aiding the GOP.  

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Wednesday morning that Facebook’s political ad ban hurts Democrats and “helps Republican politicians at the expense of our democracy.” Facebook’s political ad ban applied to political advertisers of all persuasions, including Democrats and Republicans.

Facebook said Wednesday afternoon that it would lift the political ad ban on Thursday.

“Unlike other platforms, we require authorization and transparency not just for political and electoral ads, but also for social issue ads, and our systems do not distinguish between these categories,” Facebook said on its website. “We’ve heard a lot of feedback about this and learned more about political and electoral ads during this election cycle. As a result, we plan to use the coming months to take a closer look at how these ads work on our service to see where further changes may be merited.”

Prior to the company’s announcement, the Democratic Party’s congressional campaign committees criticized Facebook’s actions.

“Facebook’s routine failure to hold bad actors accountable and stop dangerous disinformation from spreading organically across their platform puts voters in harm’s way,” said DSCC Executive Director Christie Roberts and DCCC Executive Director Tim Persico in a statement.

“This reckless and haphazard policy has made it harder for campaigns and organizations that do provide accurate information to voters and engage with them in good faith, and it hinders communities of color in particular from fully participating in the democratic process. The ability to reach grassroots supporters on these platforms is more important now than ever before.”

Facebook implemented advertising restrictions at the end of October 2020 that blocked new political and electoral ads, but allowed advertisers to continue to tailor their target audiences. Since Nov. 4, according to Facebook’s Ad Library, ads about elections, politics, and social issues have been halted.

Google recently lifted its ad ban. Google had implemented advertising restrictions after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and initially said its block would last until at least Jan. 21. The Big Tech advertising behemoth kept the restrictions in place for more than a month longer and allowed advertisers to begin running political ads again late last month. 

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide