Facebook again clamping down on political ads

Facebook again clamping down on political ads
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Facebook early Wednesday clamped down on political ads about the two Georgia Senate runoff elections held Tuesday.

The platform announced that it is barring the ads “in line with our existing nationwide social issues, electoral or political ads pause.”

“Any ads about the Georgia runoff elections will be paused and advertisers will no longer be able to create new ads about social issues, elections, or politics,” Facebook said.

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Users can “continue to post organically and run ads that are not about social issues, elections, or politics and that do not require a disclaimer” and will have to reconfirm their authorizations and disclaimers for any ads on “US social issues, electoral or political ads.”

Facebook first banned any new political ads in late October in an effort to battle the spread of misinformation ahead of and after the Nov. 3 general elections. That ban was extended as President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE and Republicans railed against the presidential election results, leveling unproven claims that widespread voter fraud and irregularities handed President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE the victory.

Ads related to the Georgia runoffs were given the green light to run again on Dec. 15 in a partial lifting of Facebook’s ban.

Facebook has still not said when it will lift its nationwide temporary political ad ban, and its Tuesday announcement did not clarify when the prohibition on Georgia runoff ads would end. 

An analysis the nonprofit advocacy group Avaaz shared with The Hill on Monday found that nearly 100 ads released by the campaigns of Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerWarnock picks up major abortion rights group's endorsement in reelection bid Trump endorses Hershel Walker for Georgia Senate seat Herschel Walker's entrance shakes up Georgia Senate race MORE (R-Ga.) and incumbent Republican David PerdueDavid PerdueTrump stokes GOP tensions in Georgia GOP sees Biden crises as boon for midterm recruitment Trump campaign, RNC refund donors another .8 million in 2021: NYT MORE, whose Senate term ended on Sunday, the Republican Party and top GOP super PACs included claims that had been debunked by third party fact-checkers. Some ads from other conservative-leaning groups appeared to use “discriminatory and sensationalist content” that seemingly violated Facebook’s policies.

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The reimposition of the Georgia ad ban comes in the aftermath of the two high-profile Senate runoffs that are set to determine control of the upper chamber.

Democrat Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockTrump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Trump stokes GOP tensions in Georgia The Memo: Trump's Arizona embarrassment sharpens questions for GOP MORE is already projected to have defeated Loeffler and Jon OssoffJon OssoffThe Memo: Trump's Arizona embarrassment sharpens questions for GOP Progressive poll finds support for solar energy tax credit legislation Stacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise MORE (D) currently holds a roughly 16,000-vote lead over Perdue, though that race is still too close to call.

Should Ossoff win, Democrats would hold a 50-50 majority in the Senate with Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTwo 'View' hosts test positive for coronavirus ahead of Harris interview Rep. Karen Bass to run for mayor of Los Angeles: report Biden taps big bank skeptic to for top regulatory post MORE having the ability to cast tie-breaking votes. His win would also mean that President-elect Joe Biden would enter office with Democratic control of both chambers of Congress, easing his path to passing legislative priorities and confirming members of his administration.