Facebook tells advertisers that pause on political ads expected to last another month

Johanna Geron | Reuters

Facebook told advertisers its temporary post-election ban on political ads is expected to continue for another month.

Its temporary pause on electoral, political and social issue ads in the U.S. will continue because it can help prevent confusion or abuse on its platform, the company said, according to emails viewed by CNBC. Facebook told advertisers they can still use organic posts that adhere to community standards. 

“The temporary pause for ads about politics and social issues in the US continues to be in place as part of our ongoing efforts to protect the election,” a Facebook spokeswoman confirmed to CNBC. “Advertisers can expect this to last another month, though there may be an opportunity to resume these ads sooner.”

Facebook announced in October it would stop running political ads in the U.S. after polls closed for the 2020 election on Nov. 3. But with runoffs for both of Georgia’s Senate seats, groups can’t turn to Facebook to run ads for fundraising or otherwise. 

“Millions of voters in Georgia are active on Facebook. They get news and information from Facebook, and campaigns aren’t allowed to reach those voters through paid advertising,” Eric Wilson, a Republican political technologist, told CNBC on Wednesday. “A lot of people don’t understand just how important that is.” 

Wilson added that groups are being prevented from raising money from supporters around the country and from educating voters.

“I certainly call on Facebook to amend their policy immediately to allow advertising in the races that have active runoffs,” said Mark Jablonowski, managing partner and chief technology officer at DSPolitical, a targeted ad network for Democratic campaigns and progressive causes.

He added that this could also affect year-end fundraising for nonprofits that deal with social issues, saying it could have a “devastating impact on social nonprofits that are swept up in these policies.” 

Google, which also paused political advertising after polls closed on Election Day, said it didn’t have “anything new to share” when asked when its pause might lift.

The update was first reported by Reuters.

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