Voice of America: Facebook Extends Ban on US Political Ads for Another Month. “As election misinformation raged online, Facebook Inc. said on Wednesday its post-election ban on political ads would likely last another month, raising concerns from campaigns and groups eager to reach voters for key Georgia Senate races in January. The ban, one of Facebook’s measures to combat misinformation and other abuses on its site, was supposed to last about a week but could be extended. Alphabet Inc.’s Google also appeared to be sticking with its post-election political ad ban.
The Verge: Facebook wants the NYU Ad Observer to quit collecting data about its ad targeting. “Facebook wants a New York University research project to stop collecting data about the social platform’s political ad-targeting, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Ad Observatory, a project of NYU’s engineering school with more than 6,000 volunteers, uses its AdObserver browser extension to scrape data from political ads shown on Facebook. But Facebook says the program is violates its terms of service, which bar scraping.” NYU has published a brief response.
Vox: Facebook glitch blocks certain political ads, raising new questions about transparency. “With less than a week until Election Day, Facebook has admitted to a glitch in the system that handles political ads on its platform. ‘Technical flaws’ related to a new transparency effort that restricted new political ads from appearing on Facebook in the week before the election caused an unstated number of old political ads to not appear at all. The Biden and Trump campaigns both say some of their ads were among them.”
Daily Beast: Dr. Fauci: The Trump Campaign Is ‘In Effect, Harassing Me’. “[Dr. Anthony] Fauci, a member of that White House coronavirus task force, prides himself on being apolitical. And he pushed back aggressively… when President Donald Trump’s campaign featured him in a video advertisement and used remarks he made in the past out of context.”
Washington State Attorney General: AG Ferguson: Twitter To Pay $100,000 To Washington State For Multiple Campaign Finance Violations. “Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that Twitter will pay $100,000 to Washington’s Public Disclosure Transparency Account for violating the state’s campaign finance disclosure law, which Washingtonians adopted through initiative in 1972. Twitter unlawfully failed to maintain for public inspection records about Washington political ads that ran on its platform from 2012 until Nov. 22, 2019. On that date, Twitter implemented a ban on all political advertising.”
Slate: Fauci Blasts New Trump Ad, Says It Takes His Comments “Out of Context”. “The nation’s top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has taken a rare foray into commenting about a political campaign by criticizing an advertisement for President Donald Trump that he says takes his words ‘out of context.’ Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has long made a point of staying out of partisan politics and he is evidently none too happy that he made an appearance in an ad for the president’s reelection.”
CNBC: Facebook will ban ads that seek to delegitimize US election. “Facebook on Wednesday announced that it will not allow any ads on its service that seek to delegitimize the outcome of an election, including the upcoming U.S. election on Nov. 3.”
CNN: Facebook allowed hundreds of misleading super PAC ads, activist group finds. “Facebook (FB) has allowed political advertisers to target hundreds of misleading ads about Joe Biden and the US Postal Service to swing-state voters ranging from Florida to Wisconsin in recent weeks, in an apparent failure to enforce its own platform rules less than two months before Election Day.”
USA Today: Trump used Facebook to suppress the Black vote in battleground states during 2016 election, report says. “Channel 4 News says it obtained a leaked database of voter profiles used by the Trump campaign that included a category called ‘deterrence,’ meaning voters who were likely to cast their ballots for Clinton or to not vote at all. These 3.5 million voters, who were disproportionately Black, were targeted with ‘dark’ ads to dissuade them from backing Clinton, according to the report. The report credits Cambridge Analytica, the Trump-connected data analysis firm that gained unauthorized access to tens of millions of Facebook profiles, with orchestrating the strategy.”
Fast Company: Facebook now says it will reject Trump ads prematurely claiming victory Nov. 4. “Facebook has said it will reject political ads that spread misinformation about the outcome of the November 3 election, several hours after Fast Company reported that the company’s stated policies would do nothing to prevent a candidate such as Donald Trump from declaring victory before the final results are tabulated.”
Reuters: Google to block U.S. election ads after polls close. “Alphabet Inc’s Google will block election-related ads on its platforms after polls close in the U.S. election on Nov. 3, the company told advertisers in an email on Friday.”
Poynter: The pandemic has been disastrous for advertising but political spending will bail it out. “Ad Age reports that political spending is about to bail out the industry’s overall 2020 performance. Total ad sales were down 7.2% in the first and second quarters, with digital sales up 5.7%. Traditional ‘linear media’ fell 23.1%.” I live in North Carolina, also known as Swing State Hell. When I watch the news with Granny, 90% of the commercials are political ads. It’s awful.
The Elm (Washington College): Facebook’s removal of political ads prior to the 2020 election is too little too late. “In October of 2019, multiple Facebook employees sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg detailing concerns about political ads. Since then numerous employees have expressed their concern about Facebook becoming an unreliable app. They recognized the mistakes made in 2016 and decided that the company needed to change its fact-checking policies. Although Facebook took some of the recommendations from the letter seriously, it’s too little, too late.”
New York University: New Tool to Analyze Political Advertising on Facebook Reveals Massive Discrepancies in Party Spending on Presidential Contest. “Designed to help reporters, researchers, thought leaders, policy makers, and the general public easily analyze political ads on Facebook ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, the web-based tool allows users to search by state, as well as major political races, to identify trends in how ads are targeted to specific audiences and what messages are being used, who is funding each ad, and how much they are spending to disseminate them.”
Washington State University: Facebook political ads more partisan, less negative than TV. “More political candidates may be shifting primarily to social media to advertise rather than TV, according to a study of advertising trends from the 2018 campaign season. The study, published recently in American Political Science Review, also found that Facebook political ads were more partisan, less negative and less issue-focused than those on TV.”