Facebook will finally allow advertisers to resume running political and social issue ads in the U.S. on Thursday, Axios reports.
“Google will lift its ban on political ads on Wednesday, ending a self-imposed prohibition that had been active since the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol,” Politico reports.
Politico: “Facebook and Google’s on-again, off-again bans on political ads are hitting campaigns during a crucial fundraising window, cutting off a key pipeline to potential supporters and disrupting early planning for the next round of elections, from state and local races this year to looming midterm elections in 2022.”
“The self-imposed bans — put in place, lifted and then reimposed in some form by both companies since the week before Election Day 2020 — have essentially pressed pause on a political industry that spent $3.2 billion advertising on Google and Facebook in the last two and a half years. Some digital political firms are freezing hiring due to the uncertainty surrounding their biggest ad platforms. And the bans have interfered with organizing and early fundraising efforts piggybacking off a new administration and the start of a new election cycle.”
Google informed its advertising partners Wednesday that beginning Jan. 14, its platforms will block all political ads, as well as any related to the Capitol insurrection, “following the unprecedented events of the past week and ahead of the upcoming presidential inauguration,” Axios reports.
The Markup monitored what happened when Facebook reversed its political ad ban ahead of the Georgia Senate runoffs.
“While Facebook’s controls were in place, we found that links to traditional news sites were present in almost all election-related posts that appeared on our Georgia panelists’ feeds. After Dec. 16, however, when Facebook flipped the switch to turn on political advertising for the Georgia election, we noticed that partisan content quickly elbowed out news sites, replacing a significant proportion of mentions of the election in our users’ feeds.”
“Facebook said it will begin letting advertisers run ads targeting Georgia voters about the state’s Jan. 5 runoff elections, starting Dec. 16 at 9 a.m. Pacific Time, even as its broader temporary political ad ban remains in place,” Axios reports.
Google informed its advertising partners that beginning Dec. 10, it will lift the post-election political ad ban that went into effect after polls closed on Nov. 3, Axios reports.
Wall Street Journal: “Facebook told the advertisers it is continuing to ‘temporarily pause’ all ads on social issues, electoral or political ads in the U.S. for another month, though it may lift sooner.”
“Thousands of ads from Joe Biden’s campaign have been blocked by Facebook as part of the social media giant’s pre-election blackout on new political ads, which the Biden camp said erroneously swept up ads that had already been approved to run,” Politico reports.
“The ads have been down since Tuesday, Biden’s campaign said on Thursday evening, costing the Democratic presidential candidate a half-million dollars in projected donations and altering the advertising plan right before the election.”
“The Trump campaign has sent Facebook advertisements to tens of thousands of voters in swing states, erroneously telling them it was election day after the social media group’s ad blockers failed to detect messages that violated its rules on misinformation,” the Financial Times reports.
“Facebook later removed the messages, but not before they had been seen by about 200,000 voters, mostly in swing states such as Florida, Arizona and Georgia.”
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Google informed its advertisers that it will broadly block election ads after polls close Nov. 3, Axios reports.
Big Tech platforms have been under pressure to address how their ad policies will handle conflicts over the presidential election’s outcome.
“Sen. David Perdue honed his jean-jacketed outsider image with memorable TV spots. Gov. Brian Kemp had his shotgun splash. Now Sen. Kelly Loeffler is trying to join the pantheon of provocative Georgia TV ads with a new ad comparing her to a feared emperor,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
The tagline: “More conservative than Attila the Hun. Kelly Loeffler, 100% Trump voting record.”
“A recent ad from Rep. Roger Marshall (R) is intended to paint Marshall’s opponent, state Sen. Barbara Bollier (D), as a typical left-wing politician… But the advertisement itself is highly misleading, taking Bollier’s own words out of context and making it seem as if she’s commenting on hot-button issues when in reality she is discussing unrelated topics.”
Politico: “As Trump’s reelection effort pulled back on television advertising over the past month, it is pouring money and staff time into Google’s video platform. The campaign and its joint fund with the Republican National Committee have spent over $65 million on YouTube and Google — about $30 million of it since July. Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee joint committee, by comparison, have spent about $33 million on YouTube and Google during the entire campaign.”
A new Yale study shows that, regardless of content, context, or audience, political ads do very little to persuade voters.
Said political scientist Alexander Coppock: “There’s an idea that a really good ad, or one delivered in just the right context to a targeted audience, can influence voters, but we found that political ads have consistently small persuasive effects across a range of characteristics.”
He added: “Positive ads work no better than attack ads. Republicans, Democrats, and independents respond to ads similarly. Ads aired in battleground states aren’t substantially more effective than those broadcast in non-swing states.”
“President Trump’s campaign launched a series of Facebook ads on Thursday featuring a manipulated photo of his presidential opponent Joe Biden edited to make the former vice president appear older and frailer,” the HuffPost reports.
“The ads, which label Biden ‘Sleepy Joe,’ show him gazing out against a dark background with his mouth slightly agape.”
“Facebook will prohibit new political advertisements in the week before the U.S. presidential election in November and seek to flag premature claims of victory by candidates,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The steps are meant to head off last-minute misinformation campaigns and limit the potential for civil unrest.”