In the run-up to critical runoff elections in Georgia, Facebook will lift its ban on political advertisements in the state starting Wednesday, December 16th at 12pm ET. The company will work with authorized advertisers and prioritize those with direct involvement in the elections, including the campaigns and local officials.
Facebook says it will reject ads targeting areas outside of Georgia, and those that include false claims or attempts to delegitimize the elections.
Facebook’s ban on ads pertaining to politics and social issues in the US remains in effect as the company — and others, including Google — attempt to quell the spread of misinformation in the wake of the presidential election.
“We are maintaining our temporary pause for ads about social issues, elections or politics in the US,” Facebook product manager Sarah Schiff wrote in a blog post. “However, in recent weeks we’ve heard feedback from experts and advertisers across the political spectrum about the importance of expressing voice and using our tools to reach voters ahead of Georgia’s runoff elections.”
The elections in Georgia will determine whether Democrats gain an upper hand in the Senate, or if it will remain a Republican majority. The runoffs involve two races: one between Republican Senator David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff, and the other between Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock. Democrat Joe Biden secured the presidential election and Democrats won the House; victory in Georgia would give the party meaningful power in the coming years.
President Donald Trump has made numerous baseless, debunked, absolutely false claims about fraud in the Georgia runoffs. Early voting has begun in the state, and the elections themselves will be held on January 5th.