By Mike Isaac
The social network had prohibited political ads on its site indefinitely after the November election. Such ads have been criticized for spreading misinformation.
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook said on Wednesday that it planned to lift its ban on political advertising across its network, resuming a form of digital promotion that has been criticized for spreading misinformation, falsehoods and inflaming voters.
The social network said it would allow advertisers to buy new ads about “social issues, elections or politics” beginning on Thursday, according to a copy of an email sent to political advertisers and viewed by The New York Times. Those advertisers must complete a series of identity checks before being authorized to place the ads, the company said.
“We put this temporary ban in place after the November 2020 election to avoid confusion or abuse following Election Day,” Facebook said in a blog post. “We’ve heard a lot of feedback about this and learned more about political and electoral ads during this election cycle. As a result, we plan to use the coming months to take a closer look at how these ads work on our service to see where further changes may be merited.”
Political advertising on Facebook has long faced questions. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has said he wished to maintain a largely hands-off stance toward speech on the site — including political ads — unless it posed an immediate harm to the public or individuals, saying that he “does not want to be the arbiter of truth.”