Facebook to end ban on political ads in United States

Elizabeth Culliford and Sheila Dang
·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: The Facebook logo is displayed on their website in an illustration photo

By Elizabeth Culliford and Sheila Dang

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc will lift its temporary ban on political advertising in the United States on Thursday, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The social media giant has had a months-long freeze on political, electoral and social ads, which it introduced as part of an effort to crack down on misinformation and abuses around the Nov. 3 elections.

Facebook had temporarily lifted its ad pause in Georgia for the state's January runoff elections but put it back in place.

Alphabet Inc's Google, which had lifted its own political ad ban in December, later reinstated it following the Jan. 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Google lifted the ban last week.

Democratic and Republican digital strategists have argued that such bans were overly broad and failed to combat the issue of organic misinformation on the platforms.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) issued a statement criticizing Facebook for not committing to a clear date to end the ban, saying the freeze had made it harder for campaigns and organizations to reach voters.

Facebook, which noted in its blog post that its systems do not distinguish between political and electoral ads and "social issue" ads, said it would look in the coming months at what other changes to its ads might be needed.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in New York, Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Matthew Lewis)