Earlier this month, Facebook lifted its ban on political ads stating, “We’re resuming political, electoral and social issue ads in the United States on Thursday, March 4th. We put this temporary ban in place after the November 2020 election to avoid confusion or abuse following Election Day. Unlike other platforms, we require authorization and transparency not just for political and electoral ads and, but also for social issue ads, and our systems do not distinguish between these categories. 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.”
Facebook intended the ban to help avoid any misuse of political messaging interfering with the voting process and put it into place the final week leading up to Election Day. However, the ban continued as the tension and confusion grew, with no winner declared. Then Facebook stood firm on its decision following the riots at the Capitol, causing the temporary ban to last four months. Now, for advertisers to buy new ads regarding “political, electoral, and social issues,” Facebook will require them to complete a series of identity checks to help stop the spread of misinformation.
But with all the political turmoil the country has gone through the past four years, is lifting the ban really the best idea?
Facebook not only provides a platform with massive reach, but it also offers many consumer targeting options. While some campaigns have taken advantage of these things and used political ads on Facebook to divide and create apprehension for smaller or independent candidates, those features make Facebook an affordable way to get their name into the public and connect with voters. Facebook has said that a platform ban on political ads would hurt independent candidates, non-government organizations, and non-profits who use Facebook to help spread their message.
Facebook has been scrutinized for the role political ads have played on its platform in the past. But hopefully, in the future, the Social Network can become an equal platform for all candidates.
What do you think about Facebook removing its ban on political ads? Do you think it’s a good idea or a bad one? Let us know in the comments below. For more information on all things marketing, PR, and branding get in touch with us at email@example.com!