Facebook Taken Down Number of Political ads due to Technical Flaws in their System

Facebook on Thursday acknowledged that a technical error in its systems caused a variety of ads from both political parties to be improperly paused.

The error stems from a policy change that Facebook announced in early September to stop any new political ads in the week before the United States presidential election scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020. This restriction took effect at 12:01 AM PT on October 27th.

Facebook issued an update saying we began restricting new political and issue ads before next week’s election so that all political ads would be searchable in our public ad library beforehand of polling day.

After the restriction took effect, the bulk of political and issue ads are unaffected however we have identified a variety of unanticipated issues affecting campaigns of both political parties.

Some were technical problems, others were because advertisers didn’t understand the instructions we provided about when and how to make changes to ad targeting, Facebook said.

“We have implemented changes to repair these issues, and most political ads are now running with no problems. “

We are continuing to monitor closely to make sure all of our fixes work and ads are running as intended well in advance of the election.

Technical Flaw

Facebook mentions ‘Technical flaws in our systems’ ability to detect that an ad has been properly recorded within the Ad Library caused a variety of ads to be paused improperly and prevented advertisers from making permissible changes to their ads. This impacted a little proportion of the ads about politics and social issues in our system.

Investigation

After investigating these technical issues, “we detected a variety of ads were paused because advertisers had made changes to the targeting shortly before the deadline, which had created new ads that needed to travel through approval and delivery before the deadline passed.”

While speaking with advertisers and reviewing our instructions again, we realized that we could have been more clear on edit targeting during or before the restriction period, Facebook said.

Facebook confirms that “No ad was paused or rejected by an individual or due to partisan consideration”.

Most of the problems are fully addressed except for any advertisers still facing issues; there are several steps they can take to help their ads reach people.

They can also pause ads and resume them as long as those ads delivered an impact before the restriction took effect. The company ensures to resolve any problems which will come up as quickly as possible.

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