Facebook will lift its temporary ban on political ads in Georgia only on Wednesday, citing feedback from candidates and other groups who wanted to advertise through the platform ahead of two Senate runoff elections.
This fall, the social media giant made the decision to pause electoral, political, and social issue ads to prevent confusion or abuse on its platform, according to CNBC.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Facebook’s product manager, Sarah Schiff, wrote that the company developed a process to let advertisers run ads that could reach voters in Georgia specifically related to the Jan. 5 runoff elections.
“We will begin enabling advertisers who are authorized to run ads about social issues, elections or politics to run ads specifically in Georgia,” Schiff wrote. “We will prioritize on-boarding advertisers with direct involvement in these elections, including the campaigns, state and local elections officials, and state and national political parties.
Schiff said the company will reject ads that target locations outside of Georgia or are not about elections. They will also continue fact-checking content and prohibit posts that include claims that have been debunked by third-party fact-checkers or a post that “delegitimizes” the Georgia runoff elections.
If Facebook sees a post discussing voter fraud, the company plans to flag the content with a label from the Bipartisan Policy Center with accurate information that addresses the claim. The company will also take steps to help people register to vote in Georgia by putting reliable information at the top of Facebook and Instagram.
The closely contested Georgia runoffs between GOP incumbent Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue and their Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff will determine the control of the Senate.
If Republicans lose both contests, the chamber would be split 50-50, with Democrats and two independents who caucus with them having the advantage of a tie-breaker in Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Democrats will keep control of the House next term but with a slimmer margin.
Author : Mica Soellner
Source : Washington Examiner : Facebook lifts political ad ban in Georgia ahead of Senate runoff elections