Facebook political ad ban drives Georgia political partisanship
Occurred: January 2021
Partisan content quickly replaced news coverage when Facebook turned off a ban on political and social issue advertising in Georgia, USA, according to The Markup.
Having banned political sponsored advertising to minimise misinformation during the 2021 US presidential elections, Facebook turned off the feature before Georgians headed to the polls to vote on a run-off for two Senator seats.
The finding prompted researchers to express concerns about the power of Facebook's platform in a political context, the ease with which misinformation and disinformation can be weaponised, and the difficulty in understanding their impacts without meaningful access to its system.
Facebook (2020). An Update on the Georgia Runoff Elections
Facebook (2020). An Update on the Georgia Runoff Elections for Advertisers
Investigations, assessments, audits
The Markup (2021). In Georgia, Facebook’s Changes Brought Back a Partisan News Feed
The Markup (2021). Citizen Browser Georgia data