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Facebook's political ad ban could last another month

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Facebook said advertisers can expect the current political ad ban "to last another month, though there may be an opportunity to resume these ads sooner."

Image: Alex Haney / Unsplash

The announcement, which Facebook made in an update to a blog post Wednesday, fueled mounting frustration among Democrats, who say that the ban is limiting Georgia senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock's ability to reach voters ahead of a crucial runoff election in January.

In its blog post, Facebook said advertisers can "expect this to last another month, though there may be an opportunity to resume these ads sooner."

Hector Sigala, a Democratic digital strategist and former digital media director for Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign, tweeted that this means Democrats will have no access to Facebook ads to remind voters of crucial dates for a race that will decide who controls the Senate. That includes the voter registration deadline in early December. "This is horrible," Sigala tweeted.

In an email first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook implied that the decision had to do with ongoing refusal by Republicans to accept the election results. "While multiple sources have projected a presidential winner, we still believe it's important to help prevent confusion or abuse on our platform," the email said.

In another tweet, Sigala quoted that email, writing, "The GOP knows exactly what they're doing."

The Wall Street Journal reported that Google may also continue its ban for at least a month. In response, Miryam Lipper, communications director for the Ossoff campaign, called for an exemption for Georgia candidates. "Facebook and Google's unacceptable ad ban will block voters from learning how to register to vote, request absentee ballots and ensure their vote is counted," Lipper told Protocol in a statement. "With 55 days until the election, Facebook and Google are putting their fingers on the scale for millionaire Republican candidates while ignoring the rampant disinformation on their platforms and engaging in their own version of voter suppression."

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