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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook clarified Monday to Axios that its pre-Election Day ban on new political ads, going into effect Tuesday at midnight, applies to any political content with ad spend behind it — including boosted posts as well as ads created in Facebook's ad manager system.

Catch up quick: A boosted post is a regular Facebook post whose owner has paid Facebook to distribute it more widely. This approach is often used by smaller advertisers with less to spend.

Details: Facebook says that because boosted posts are a form of paid promotion, they are considered ads. For any political or issue ad to be able to run on Facebook during the restricted period, the ad must follow three rules:

  1. It must have been set up by an advertiser that has completed the official Facebook political ad authorization process;
  2. It must have cleared an ad review by Facebook;
  3. It must have delivered at least one impression before the ban kicks in at midnight Tuesday.

Yes, but: Campaigns can still run new, organic (unpaid) content during the ban period.

  • Critics worry that campaigns wishing to abuse the system would rush to get new ads approved and delivered before the ban went into effect so that they could still run last-minute messages.

The big picture: Facebook has made updates to its political ad rules ahead of the election in order to curb misinformation and confusion.

Go deeper: Tech's steadily tightening limits on political ads

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - Technology

Facebook Oversight Board overturns 4 of its 5 first cases

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook's independent Oversight Board published its first set of decisions Thursday, overturning four of the five cases it chose to review out of 20,000 cases submitted.

Why it matters: The decision to go against Facebook's conclusions in four out of five instances gives legitimacy to the board, which is funded via a $130 million grant from Facebook.

App rush: Talent over trash

Data: Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Amid the sea of pollution on social media, another class of apps is soaring in popularity: The creators are paid, putting a premium on talent instead of just noise.

The big picture: Creator-economy platforms like Patreon, Substack and OnlyFans are built around content makers who are paid. It's a contrast to platforms like Facebook that are mostly powered by everyday users’ unpaid posts and interactions.

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Facebook seeks a new head of U.S. public policy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook is looking externally for a new U.S. policy chief as it moves Kevin Martin, a Republican who now holds the job, to a different position, per a memo seen by Axios.

Between the lines: Facebook is moving on from the Trump era in which Republicans held most of the power in Washington and Facebook was particularly eager among tech companies to forge warm relations with GOP policymakers.

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