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Image credit: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx

Facebook and Google indefinitely extend their ban on political ads

Google plans to review the situation weekly.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
November 11, 2020
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Photo by: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 11/3/20 People vote at a polling station in Manhattan on Election Day. On November 3, 2020, the United States elects its president and vice president, 35 Senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors of 11 states and two US territories, as well as state and local government officials. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden are running for president.
John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx

With the fallout of the US presidential election set to rumble on for who knows how long, Facebook and Google's bans on political advertising are still in effect. The companies previously said their respective pauses on such ads would last for at least a week after the election. Google noted it would assess the situation weekly. 

Eight days after the polls closed, Google and Facebook both confirmed to the Financial Times that their bans remain in place. It’s not clear for how much longer they’ll be active.

Although the race has been called in favor of President-elect Joe Biden, President Donald Trump (who has yet to concede) and his allies are continuing to dispute the results. They have made allegations of voter fraud, but have yet to provide any evidence of that.

Misinformation has continued to spread on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube in the aftermath of the election. Biden's team has criticized Facebook in particular for failing to slow the conspiracy-fueled "Stop the Steal" movement or to suppress calls for violence, according to the FT. Bill Russo, his head of press, this week claimed Facebook was "shredding the fabric of our democracy." 

The company has taken at least some action to counter false election claims. Facebook has removed some "Stop The Steal" pages and groups. It has also tried to stem the flow of misinformation in certain groups.

Update: In a Twitter thread, Facebook product manager Rob Leathern confirmed the move but did not put a time window on how long it would extend.

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