Facebook has extended its post-election ban on political advertisements for yet another month. Facebook insists this is being done to curtail misinformation and abuse. Facebook and other big tech companies have been touting this line. Facebook is not the only one making good on this ban, but also Google as well.
Campaign handlers for both parties have expressed worry that this specific ban cuts into their election operations in Georgia. Facebook stated, “The temporary pause for ads about politics and social issues in the US continues to be in place as part of our ongoing efforts to protect the election. Advertisers can expect this to last another month, though there may be an opportunity to resume these ads sooner.” Social media companies have expressed this sentiment and have taken precautions that might be borderline infringing on political freedom of expression.
A private company banning political ads at a time when elections are still happening is undoubtedly a message, if not a political one. It shows that, yes, they are acting as if they were political entities themselves and are entitled to maneuver what people watch. And yes, they are certainly within their right to ban what they wish, yet it is hypocritical for them to deny that they are not biased. This main argument on behalf of them, that they are not biased and do not infringe on political freedoms, is outright untrue when taken into perspective. What these social media companies told the Senate hearing is, therefore, not totally honest per se.
This measure enacted by Facebook to protect the audience from misinformation does not protect the people from this type of devious and unfounded information. People will see and hear it from other sources whether Facebook bans it or not. Facebook cannot stop a monstrous machine of data that they themselves have built over the years in one single month.