As Democratic lawmakers are considering cracking down on Facebook, their party’s leadership is attacking Facebook’s political ad ban for allegedly hampering Democratic candidates’ campaigns.
While the Democrat-controlled Congress is debating breaking up Facebook and considering other avenues to curb its authority, the party leadership is howling that the company is aiding the GOP.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Wednesday that Facebook’s political ad ban hurts Democrats and “helps Republican politicians at the expense of our democracy.”
Facebook’s political ad ban applies to political advertisers of all persuasions, including Democrats and Republicans.
“Facebook’s routine failure to hold bad actors accountable and stop dangerous disinformation from spreading organically across their platform puts voters in harm’s way,” said DSCC executive director Christie Roberts and DCCC executive director Tim Persico in a statement. “This reckless and haphazard policy has made it harder for campaigns and organizations that do provide accurate information to voters and engage with them in good faith, and it hinders communities of color in particular from fully participating in the democratic process. The ability to reach grassroots supporters on these platforms is more important now than ever before.”
Facebook implemented advertising restrictions at the end of October 2020 that blocked new political and electoral ads, but allowed advertisers to continue to tailor their target audiences. Since November 4, according to Facebook’s Ad Library, ads about elections, politics, and social issues have been halted.
The Democratic Party campaign committees see no reason for why Facebook’s blockade is continuing and noted that Google recently lifted its ad ban. Google had implemented advertising restrictions after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and initially said its block would last until at least Jan. 21. The Big Tech advertising behemoth kept the restrictions in place for more than a month longer and allowed advertisers to begin running political ads again late last month.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Democratic Party campaign committees’ condemnation.