Facebook Will Temporarily Halt Political Ads After Polls Close On November 3

Topline

Facebook will temporarily ban all political ads after voting ends on November 3, the company announced Wednesday, to prevent the social media platform from being misused to sow confusion after polls close.

Key Facts

Guy Rosen, Facebook’s VP of Integrity, said in a blog post the ban is intended to “reduce opportunities for confusion or abuse.”

Facebook already announced it would halt political ads in the seven days leading up to the election, as well as ban ads that seek to delegitimize the results of an election.

Facebook also said it will remove calls for people to engage in “poll watching” when those posts use “militarized language” or “suggest that the goal is to intimidate, exert control, or display power over election officials or voters.”

If a candidate or party declares premature victory, Facebook said it will notify users that counting is still in progress.

Crucial Quote

“While ads are an important way to express voice, we plan to temporarily stop running all social issue, electoral or political ads in the US after the polls close on November 3, to reduce opportunities for confusion or abuse. We will notify advertisers when this policy is lifted,” Rosen said.

Key Background

Facebook’s policy of not fact-checking political ads has prompted fears they might be used to cause chaos immediately after the election, especially as President Donald Trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transition of power. Facebook is specifically planning for the possibility of Trump using Facebook to dispute the results of the election, according to the Washington Post.

Tangent

Twitter and TikTok have announced permanent bans on political ads altogether.

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