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Facebook to Resume Political Advertisements, Joining Google

Facebook said Wednesday it would resume accepting US political advertisements, ending a ban imposed after the November presidential election to stem misinformation.

The leading social network said “political, electoral, and social issue advertisements in the United States” would be permissible again from Thursday.

“We put this temporary ban in place after the November 2020 election to avoid confusion or abuse following Election Day,” a Facebook blog post said.

“Unlike other platforms, we require authorisation and transparency not just for political and electoral advertisements, but also for social issue advertisements, and our systems do not distinguish between these categories.”

Facebook noted that political and social issue advertisements will require verification and disclaimers explaining that the messages are “paid for by” a specific person or group.

It will also keep the messages in its advertisement library to enable researchers and others to view them.

Facebook added it would “use the coming months to take a closer look at how these advertisements work on our service to see where further changes may be merited.”

Facebook’s move followed a similar one by Google last month.

The two big platforms, which dominate digital advertising, suspended paid political messages in part to stem the flow of hoaxes and misinformation, notably from those rejecting the results of the election, won by Joe Biden over Donald Trump.

Facebook in December partly lifted the ban to allow advertisements pertaining to Georgia’s special Senate runoff election in January.

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