Facebook is bringing back its weeklong ban on political ads leading up to the 2022 election

  • Facebook will ban new political ads from being published in the week leading up to the 2022 election.
  • The move follows a similar ban during the 2020 presidential elections.
  • Facebook suffered a wave of criticism in the wake of misinformation on the site ahead of the 2016 election.

Given that political polarization seems to be only widening — including within the two major political parties themselves — a decision announced Wednesday by Facebook parent Meta Platforms to institute a ban on political ads ahead of the 2022 US midterm elections was perhaps the expedient thing to do.

Meta said that will implement a “restriction period” for ads about “social issues, elections, or politics” in the US for the week leading up to election day, essentially banning the publishing of new ads from November 1 through November 8.

Most edits to ads also will be prohibited, the company said.

Meta said it is bringing back the weeklong ban because “we found that the restriction period achieves the right balance of giving campaigns a voice while providing additional time for scrutiny of political ads in the Ad Library.”

The framework echoes what the company did for the 2020 US election in the wake of the criticism it endured after the 2016 election, when misinformation ahead of the election flooded Facebook — some of it at the hands of Russian-affiliated groups — that some continue to believe was a significant reason behind Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.

Facebook’s temporary ban during the 2020 election eventually evolved into a longer prohibition that was eventually lifted in March 2021.