Nov 11, 2020 - Economy & Business

Facebook and Google extend political ad ban

Facebook and Google logos

Photo: SOPA Images / Getty Images

Facebook and Google are extending their bans on political ads to prevent confusion about the election, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: While tech companies are trying to limit post-election misinformation, hundreds of millions of dollars are about to pour into Georgia, now that control of the Senate — and the fate of the next president's agenda — hinges on runoffs for now one, but both of the state's seats, set for Jan. 5.

The state of play: The platforms originally said the bans would go a week after Election Day, but may continue thereafter. The bans were instituted to prevent messaging that could be misleading or misinform the public about election outcomes, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.

  • President Trump has taken to social media to amplify baseless claims of voter fraud, and his supporters have followed. Facebook has already shut down a number of fast-growing “Stop the Steal” groups, many of which organized around armed protests of alleged voter fraud.
  • Though the ban is intended to limit misinformation, it will create difficulties for Democrats and Republicans as they gear up for Senate runoffs in early January. Political advertising is one major avenue of outreach.
  • Neither Google nor Facebook commented on how their extended ad bans might affect the Georgia runoff.

Facebook’s ban is expected to continue for another month. It's unclear when Google's ban will lift.

What they’re saying: President-elect Joe Biden has said Facebook is not doing enough to strike down the “Stop the Steal" narrative.

  • Biden aide Bill Russo tweeted on Monday that the company is “shredding the fabric of our democracy.”
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