Campaign

Democrats' campaign arms call on Facebook to lift ban on political ads

The Democratic Party's House and Senate campaign arms on Wednesday called on Facebook to lift its ban on political ads.

Tim Persico, the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and Christie Roberts, the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) said in a joint statement that the policy has failed to prevent the spread of disinformation while limiting interaction between voters, lawmakers and activists.

"This reckless and haphazard policy has made it harder for campaigns and organizations that do provide accurate information to voters and engage with them in good faith, and it hinders communities of color in particular from fully participating in the democratic process," they said.

"The ability to reach grassroots supporters on these platforms is more important now than ever before," they added. "Continuing to block political ads indefinitely - with zero transparency and no credible explanation behind this decision - helps Republican politicians at the expense of our democracy."

Facebook first banned any new political ads in late October to fight the spread of misinformation ahead of and after the Nov. 3 general elections. That ban was ultimately extended as former President Trump railed against the presidential election results, and the platform has not said when it plans on lifting the nationwide ad moratorium. 

Users are still allowed to run ads that are not about social issues, elections or politics. 

Google, which implemented a similar ban around the election, lifted its prohibition on political ads last week. 

The Facebook ban continues as congressional and local campaigns look to get off the ground ahead of races in 2022, as well as a number of contests in some states later this year. While there are other websites on which campaigns can put out, Facebook is one of the largest platforms for outreach to voters, making its ban particularly impactful on candidates. 

Facebook announced later Wednesday that it will resume allowing political advertising on its platform starting Thursday.

"We put this temporary ban in place after the November 2020 election to avoid confusion or abuse following Election Day," the company wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

Updated: 1:50 p.m.

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