Show an ad over header. AMP

Facebook says it will block political ads after the polls close

Facebook says it plans to temporarily stop running all social issue, electoral, or political ads in the U.S. after the polls close on November 3.

Why it matters: The notice comes two weeks after Google informed its advertisers that it would implement a similar rule.

Details: Facebook says the goal of the new policy is to reduce opportunities for public confusion about results or messages that misinform the public about election outcomes.

  • Facebook says advertisers can expect this ban to last for a week, although the timeline is subject to change.
  • It says it will notify advertisers when the new policy is lifted. (For context, Google says it will take at least 7 days for its political ad ban to be lifted after election day, thanks to the likelihood that election results will take longer to tally thanks to pandemic-driven absentee ballots.)

The company says it will also update its policies to ban implicit calls by users to engage in malicious "poll watching" — visiting a polling place to intimidate voters.

  • In the past, says Monika Bickert, Facebook's VP of content policy, Facebook had banned explicit calls for such behavior.
  • It's now banning posts that "use militarized language" or "suggest that the goal is to intimidate, exert control, or display power over election officials or voters."
  • Bickert says her team will be looking at this type of content and making decisions about it. She says Facebook has been looking at this policy update for many months.

The big picture: Facebook has incrementally made updates to its political advertising policies leading up to election day.

  • In September, the company said it would not allow ads that prematurely claim victory or attempt to delegitimize the election.
  • Earlier that month, it said it would place restrictions on new political and issue ads the final week of the campaign,

On Wednesday, Facebook's VP of integrity Guy Rosen explained why the new policy has been introduced so late and after the company said it likely wouldn't be amending any more policies related to the election.

  • "We're still going through planning and understanding of different scenarios drawing on learnings from different elections, and scenario planning continues to be underway. We thought it would be appropriate to introduce new measures as we head into the final stretch and we think about the period after the election itself."

Be smart: Civil rights groups have argued that Facebook has not been quick enough to take action on misinformation and abuse on its platform compared to its rivals.

  • Facebook has pushed back on that, saying that it's "simply untrue."
  • In Wednesday's announcements, Facebook aimed to keep peace with those groups, saying, "We thank the civil rights experts and community members who continue to help us understand trends in this area and we look forward to continuing to work with them."

Merrick Garland: Domestic terrorism is "still with us" and remains critical threat

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.

Keep reading... Show less

"Nine minutes and 29 seconds": Prosecutors begin closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Steve Schleicher, an attorney for the prosecution in Derek Chauvin's trial, began closing arguments on Monday by describing in detail George Floyd's last moments — crying out for help and surrounded by strangers, as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial, seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades, will reverberate across the country and have major implications in the fight for racial justice.

Keep reading... Show less

European soccer goes to war over wealthy clubs' plans for exclusive "Super League"

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

Keep reading... Show less

81% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive earnings surprise for Q1

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

Keep reading... Show less

NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hopping the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

Keep reading... Show less

All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, meeting Biden's April 19 deadline

All 50 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have now made U.S. adults over the age of 16 eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, meeting President Biden's April 19 deadline.

Why it matters: The landmark speaks to the increased pace of the national vaccination campaign, but will increase pressure on the federal government, states and pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate vaccine supply and logistics.

Keep reading... Show less

Minneapolis braces for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial

Minneapolis is waking up to images of an occupied city on Monday, as the city and the world await a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

What it's like: Residents running errands, picking up dinner and heading to the dog park in recent days encountered heavily-armed National Guard troops stationed throughout the city.

Keep reading... Show less

Russian authorities say jailed opposition leader Navalny has been transferred to hospital

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been hospitalized, one day after his doctor warned that the jailed Putin critic "could die at any moment," Russia's prison service said Monday.

Why it matters: News that Navalny's condition had severely deteriorated on the third week of a hunger strike prompted outrage from his supporters and international demands for Russia to provide him with immediate medical treatment.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories