Facebook will disable “new” political ads the week before this year’s November mid-term election (see its post on this policy here), just as many broadcast stations will be struggling with commercial inventory issues, trying to get last minute political ads on the air without having to dump all of their regular commercial advertisers who will be just starting to ramp up their commercial campaigns for the holiday season. We’ve written previously about how the legal policies that govern Facebook and other online platforms are different than those that govern broadcast, local cable, and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) political ad sales. Many of the policies adopted by these online platforms could not be adopted by broadcasters, local cable and DBS companies. In light of Facebook’s recent announcement and the upcoming election, we thought that we would recap some of our previous reviews of this issue.
In June 2021, we wrote about Facebook’s plans to end its policy of not subjecting posts by elected officials to the same level of scrutiny by its Oversight Board that it applies to other platform users. Facebook’s announced policy has been that the newsworthiness of posts by politicians and elected officials was such that it outweighed Facebook’s uniform application of its Community Standards – although it did make exceptions for calls to violence and questions of election integrity, and where posts linked to other offending content. Just a year before, there were calls for Facebook to take more aggressive steps to police misinformation on its platforms. These calls grew out of the debate over the need to revise Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which insulates online platforms from liability for posts by unrelated parties on those platforms (see our article here on Section 230).
Continue Reading Facebook to Reject New Political Ads the Week Before the November Election – Why Broadcasters Can’t Do That