United States: Facebook boondoggles for political ads 6 days before elections

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Facebook admitted that the implementation of a ban on political ads in the final days of the US presidential campaign led to errors as Republicans and Democrats accuse the social media giant of putting them at a disadvantage.

“We’re investigating ads that have been suspended in error, and questions from advertisers who are having trouble adjusting their campaigns. We are working to fix these issues quickly, ”Rob Leathern, a Facebook ad product manager, tweeted Tuesday.

The Californian group announced in September that no new political advertising could be broadcast on its platforms in the week before the election to limit the risks of disinformation or attempts to disrupt the ballot, more difficult to control in the last days of the election. campaign.

Ads that have already been approved can, however, remain online.

In October, Facebook added that all advertising on social or political topics will be banned in the United States when polling stations close on November 3.

But many Democratic officials have complained about abusive suspensions by the network.

“All of the Democratic consultants and advertisers I spoke to this morning (including myself) are working to put ads back online that Facebook mistakenly took down,” Eric Reif, who is in charge of strategy, said on Twitter Tuesday. for Democrats.

More importantly, Facebook is accused of passing up ads from Trump’s campaign targeting key US states, claiming election day was Tuesday.

According to a Financial Times article, the network removed these messages, but after they were seen by around 200,000 people, mainly in Florida, Arizona and Georgia.

Facebook did not respond to an AFP request.

This type of message violates a priori two rules of the network: it is a false information on the conduct of the poll and new political advertisements are not allowed within seven days of the election.

Mark Zuckerberg, the head of the Californian group, was questioned Wednesday by a Senate committee, alongside the leaders of Twitter and Google.

Republican senators have, as usual, accused the platforms of being biased against their camp, while Democrats have criticized them for not moderating their platforms sufficiently against incitement to hatred, violence and the President’s messages. , according to them, disinformation.

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