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Campaigns and Media Companies Adjust to a Unique Election Season

Facebook’s New Stance on Political Ads

Facebook announced yesterday that the company will ban new political ads from running on its platform during the week leading up to the presidential election on November 3. Ads submitted before October 27 will still be permitted to run until election day.

This marks somewhat of a shift in the company’s philosophy about political ads. Until this decision, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg felt strongly that Facebook and Instagram should not regulate political ads. This is different from some other social media platforms’ approaches. Twitter (TWTR) and Pinterest (PINS), for example, ban all political ads.

Providing Information for Facebook Users

Facebook also announced that it will remove posts that discourage people from voting by saying they could catch COVID-19. For posts that hint that voting could be dangerous because of the pandemic, but do not specifically say voters will be at risk of catching COVID-19, Facebook said it will attach links to authoritative information about the virus.

Facebook will permit posts questioning the legitimacy of the election, but these posts will also have links to information about voting attached.

Campaigns Reach Voters Through Streaming

Because large political rallies are less viable this year, campaigns are looking for creative ways to target specific groups while they are at home on their couches. In addition to social media, politicians on both sides of the aisle are turning to video streaming services as a way to reach voters. Ads on these platforms are cheaper than traditional TV spots. They also allow campaigns to tailor their messaging to a more specific audience.

Reaching voters virtually is more important than ever for political candidates this year. Both campaign strategists and media companies will be experimenting with new strategies during an election season like no other.

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