Facebook’s political ads suspension policy may extend till mid of December 2020, or perhaps for a longer time

Elections are a major event for any country, and it is absolutely common to see some commotion and public unrest after such major events. Recently, the US Presidential Elections also took place, and it was already anticipated that there will be a lot of unrest if Donald Trump lost, and so it happened. Now, there are groups of people that are spreading fake news that the election was ‘stolen,’ or ‘rigged.’ This period after elections is the epicenter of a lot of misinformation and fake news. While Facebook had anticipated this to some extent, the company had probably not realized that this kind of unrest will prolong for a couple of months maybe.

Sensing all this, Facebook had implemented a suspension policy for political ads on the 4th of November, one day after the US Presidential Election. This was done to avoid the company’s ads being used to manipulate the election results or to prevent any rising tensions and conflicts amongst people.

However, a week after this action, the company has announced that they will be extending the ban for another month. As per Facebook, the temporary pause of political ads and social issues in the US have an impact on the election results, and they also hamper the efforts of tech companies and various agencies to protect the election. Facebook put this political ad ban for a couple of days initially to let the matters settle, but now, it seems that the ban will have to be extended. The advertisers can expect this ban to go on till December. But nothing is ‘carved in stone,’ and this ban may be lifted sometime sooner too.

Facebook already faces accusations from the Conservatives that the platform suppresses their voice, censors their political campaigns, etc. Now there are allegations that the company has sided with Joe Biden. So, it seems that whatever the tech company does, there is one allegation or the other on all its actions.

Now, this whole post-election fiasco will continue until Donald Trump accepts the results and concedes the election to Joe Biden. Otherwise, until the results of the electoral college provide the final stamp on the matter, which is expected to happen around mid-December, this issue may prolong till then. So, Facebook’s ban on political ads is likely to extend until either of the two above-mentioned scenarios happen.

On the content moderation front, Facebook has reportedly banned several groups that were found to be advocating violence and propagating misinformation related to the election. The company’s internal monitoring tools have also notified an increase in trends leading to violence and incitement.

Photo: Getty

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