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Facebook Lifts Its Political Ad Ban In Georgia, Leading Up To Senate Runoff

Jericho Casper

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on

Photo of Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler (top), Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff (bottom) from CNN

December 23, 2020 — Less than a week after President-elect Joe Biden secured a victory in the 2020 presidential election, Facebook’s post-election plan began to backfire.

Since the 2020 election, Facebook has sought to avoid intense and continued criticism over its policies on political ads. Now, as the latest presidential election season is being drawn out by an extra couple of months due to the dual runoff in Georgia that will decide control of the Senate, some claimed that the political ad ban’s extension was an undue interference in the electoral process.

In November, the company announced it would extend its ban on political ads for at least another month, and possibly longer, in an attempt to quell confusion over an election that President Donald Trump lost but still hasn’t conceded.

On December 15, Facebook announced that it had changed course and that it would lift its political ad ban for the campaigns in Georgia. The announcement came following criticisms from both the Republican and Democratic Senate candidates in the race, and after the company had said it did not have the technical ability in the short term to make exceptions to its national political ad ban.

Both sides are anxious about maintaining their ability to advertise on Facebook, as it is a way to more directly spread their messaging on the site. So, as the presidential election begins to appear in the rearview mirror and the Georgia runoff approaches, it seems the problem of Facebook being bad for democracy isn’t going anywhere.

According to a blog post published by the company, Facebook’s overall hold on political ads will remain in effect. Yet, in the post, the company claims its ad tools are an important way for people to get information about elections.

“We have developed a process to allow advertisers to run ads with the purpose of reaching voters in Georgia about Georgia’s runoff elections,” read the post, adding that it would focus on onboarding advertisers with “direct involvement” in the Georgia election.

Critics argue Facebook walking back on its protections aimed at quelling disinformation, feeds directly into a right-wing deception strategy and could not be more opportunistic.

Miryam Lipper, communications director for the Ossoff campaign, told Recode in a statement in November that Facebook is “putting their fingers on the scale for millionaire Republican candidates” and “ignoring the rampant disinformation on their platforms.”

Assistant Editor Jericho Casper graduated from the University of Virginia studying media policy. She grew up in Newport News in an area heavily impacted by the digital divide. She has a passion for universal access and a vendetta against anyone who stands in the way of her getting better broadband.

Social Media

Josh Hawley Wants To Break Up Big Tech And Revisit How Antitrust Matters Are Considered

Senator Josh Hawley talks Section 230, antitrust reform, and the Capitol riots.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Josh Hawley, right, via Flickr

December 23, 2020 — Less than a week after President-elect Joe Biden secured a victory in the 2020 presidential election, Facebook’s post-election plan began to backfire.

Since the 2020 election, Facebook has sought to avoid intense and continued criticism over its policies on political ads. Now, as the latest presidential election season is being drawn out by an extra couple of months due to the dual runoff in Georgia that will decide control of the Senate, some claimed that the political ad ban’s extension was an undue interference in the electoral process.

In November, the company announced it would extend its ban on political ads for at least another month, and possibly longer, in an attempt to quell confusion over an election that President Donald Trump lost but still hasn’t conceded.

On December 15, Facebook announced that it had changed course and that it would lift its political ad ban for the campaigns in Georgia. The announcement came following criticisms from both the Republican and Democratic Senate candidates in the race, and after the company had said it did not have the technical ability in the short term to make exceptions to its national political ad ban.

Both sides are anxious about maintaining their ability to advertise on Facebook, as it is a way to more directly spread their messaging on the site. So, as the presidential election begins to appear in the rearview mirror and the Georgia runoff approaches, it seems the problem of Facebook being bad for democracy isn’t going anywhere.

According to a blog post published by the company, Facebook’s overall hold on political ads will remain in effect. Yet, in the post, the company claims its ad tools are an important way for people to get information about elections.

“We have developed a process to allow advertisers to run ads with the purpose of reaching voters in Georgia about Georgia’s runoff elections,” read the post, adding that it would focus on onboarding advertisers with “direct involvement” in the Georgia election.

Critics argue Facebook walking back on its protections aimed at quelling disinformation, feeds directly into a right-wing deception strategy and could not be more opportunistic.

Miryam Lipper, communications director for the Ossoff campaign, told Recode in a statement in November that Facebook is “putting their fingers on the scale for millionaire Republican candidates” and “ignoring the rampant disinformation on their platforms.”

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Social Media

Oversight Board Upholds Trump’s Ban From Facebook

The Oversight Board has sent the decision back to Facebook management, criticizing it for setting a “standardless” penalty.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

December 23, 2020 — Less than a week after President-elect Joe Biden secured a victory in the 2020 presidential election, Facebook’s post-election plan began to backfire.

Since the 2020 election, Facebook has sought to avoid intense and continued criticism over its policies on political ads. Now, as the latest presidential election season is being drawn out by an extra couple of months due to the dual runoff in Georgia that will decide control of the Senate, some claimed that the political ad ban’s extension was an undue interference in the electoral process.

In November, the company announced it would extend its ban on political ads for at least another month, and possibly longer, in an attempt to quell confusion over an election that President Donald Trump lost but still hasn’t conceded.

On December 15, Facebook announced that it had changed course and that it would lift its political ad ban for the campaigns in Georgia. The announcement came following criticisms from both the Republican and Democratic Senate candidates in the race, and after the company had said it did not have the technical ability in the short term to make exceptions to its national political ad ban.

Both sides are anxious about maintaining their ability to advertise on Facebook, as it is a way to more directly spread their messaging on the site. So, as the presidential election begins to appear in the rearview mirror and the Georgia runoff approaches, it seems the problem of Facebook being bad for democracy isn’t going anywhere.

According to a blog post published by the company, Facebook’s overall hold on political ads will remain in effect. Yet, in the post, the company claims its ad tools are an important way for people to get information about elections.

“We have developed a process to allow advertisers to run ads with the purpose of reaching voters in Georgia about Georgia’s runoff elections,” read the post, adding that it would focus on onboarding advertisers with “direct involvement” in the Georgia election.

Critics argue Facebook walking back on its protections aimed at quelling disinformation, feeds directly into a right-wing deception strategy and could not be more opportunistic.

Miryam Lipper, communications director for the Ossoff campaign, told Recode in a statement in November that Facebook is “putting their fingers on the scale for millionaire Republican candidates” and “ignoring the rampant disinformation on their platforms.”

Continue Reading

Courts

Supreme Court Declares Trump First Amendment Case Moot, But Legal Issues For Social Media Coming

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Photo of Justice Clarence Thomas in April 2017 by Preston Keres in the public domain

December 23, 2020 — Less than a week after President-elect Joe Biden secured a victory in the 2020 presidential election, Facebook’s post-election plan began to backfire.

Since the 2020 election, Facebook has sought to avoid intense and continued criticism over its policies on political ads. Now, as the latest presidential election season is being drawn out by an extra couple of months due to the dual runoff in Georgia that will decide control of the Senate, some claimed that the political ad ban’s extension was an undue interference in the electoral process.

In November, the company announced it would extend its ban on political ads for at least another month, and possibly longer, in an attempt to quell confusion over an election that President Donald Trump lost but still hasn’t conceded.

On December 15, Facebook announced that it had changed course and that it would lift its political ad ban for the campaigns in Georgia. The announcement came following criticisms from both the Republican and Democratic Senate candidates in the race, and after the company had said it did not have the technical ability in the short term to make exceptions to its national political ad ban.

Both sides are anxious about maintaining their ability to advertise on Facebook, as it is a way to more directly spread their messaging on the site. So, as the presidential election begins to appear in the rearview mirror and the Georgia runoff approaches, it seems the problem of Facebook being bad for democracy isn’t going anywhere.

According to a blog post published by the company, Facebook’s overall hold on political ads will remain in effect. Yet, in the post, the company claims its ad tools are an important way for people to get information about elections.

“We have developed a process to allow advertisers to run ads with the purpose of reaching voters in Georgia about Georgia’s runoff elections,” read the post, adding that it would focus on onboarding advertisers with “direct involvement” in the Georgia election.

Critics argue Facebook walking back on its protections aimed at quelling disinformation, feeds directly into a right-wing deception strategy and could not be more opportunistic.

Miryam Lipper, communications director for the Ossoff campaign, told Recode in a statement in November that Facebook is “putting their fingers on the scale for millionaire Republican candidates” and “ignoring the rampant disinformation on their platforms.”

Continue Reading

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