September 28, 2020
Facebook has announced some new steps to protect the US election. The goal of these steps is to limit voter misinformation and reduce the risk of post-election confusion.
The major update that will impact political campaigns all around the country is that Facebook won’t accept any new political ads in the week before the election. This means that you can’t launch new political ads on Facebook and Instagram after October 27. Most ads get approved within 24 hours, but some might take longer especially if you need to send the ad for a second review. So in order to avoid any disappointment and disapproved ads, we’d recommend launching your ads by October 23 the latest. Facebook has said that you can adjust the targeting and budget even after October 27.
Facebook will also place a voting information center with accurate and up-to-date information on how, when, and where to vote at the top of the news feed through Election Day.
Facebook is trying to prevent making the same mistakes that happened in 2016 when it was slow to react to Russian interference in the election. Taking action against misinformation, voter suppression, and people trying to delegitimize the outcome of the election is a noble cause, but some critics say that Facebook might be doing too little too late.
For example, political ads are not the only way misinformation is spread around Facebook. In addition, by banning new political ads in the critical GOTV timeframe right before the election, people might gravitate towards right-wing publishers like Breitbart and Fox News that have a huge following on Facebook. We personally feel that these news steps are more lip service than actual actions against misinformation, but only time will tell how Facebook handles the election this time around.
Please contact us if you have any questions about running political ads on Facebook and Instagram!