Given the divisive nature of politics, Facebook and Google both stated earlier this year that they would be temporarily banning political ads due to the controversy that some of these ads can create. It was meant to be temporary leading up to the elections, but it seems that both companies have decided that they will be extending it.
Both companies have confirmed to the Financial Times (paywall) that they will be extending their ban on political ads for the time-being, although in Google’s case, the company stated that they will be assessing the situation weekly, which means that each ban, in theory, lasts about a week where the week after, Google could decide to allow political ads again.
In addition to being extremely divisive and sometimes controversial, social media platforms have had to deal with the spread of misinformation, where it’s so easy to just click share on an article even though its contents might be false or it could contain factual errors. This spread can sow hatred, cause panic, or worse if left unchecked, so Facebook and Google banning political ads seems like the least they can do.
On Facebook’s end, the company has been trying their best to squash Facebook groups that seem to be spreading false election claims.