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Facebook blocks COVID-19 vaccination ads

22 February 2021
2 min.
Facebook blocks COVID-19 vaccination ads

Facebook ad blocking

A ban on political advertising imposed before the US presidential election hit paid posts raising awareness about COVID-19. Facebook acknowledged the problem and promised to restore some of the blocked ads.

Facebook's ban on political ads and related algorithms caused the blocking of posts about the benefits and need for vaccination against the coronavirus.

Facebook's filters, which normally work to screen out and block political propaganda and advertising, began flagging as unacceptable messages raising awareness about vaccines and the COVID-19 vaccination campaign back in September.

At issue were paid advertisements in at least 110 communities. Social network algorithms have removed messages about vaccine mechanisms and the location of vaccination points. Advertisers can challenge the blocking of their posts, but the publication describes the process as too cumbersome and virtually pointless in the face of rapidly changing new information about the coronavirus.

Facebook has acknowledged the problem and said it has already reinstated the two communities' vaccination ads. Politico reports that given the widespread presence of anti-vaccination advocates on the social network, the blocking of paid vaccination posts calls into question the suitability of the platform to get reliable information about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facebook introduced a ban on political advertising about a week before the US presidential election in November 2020. The measure has since been extended. On plans to ban political advertising.

The company felt that such a measure would help protect users from misleading content ahead of the election. At the same time, Bloomberg wrote that for three months in the spring and summer of 2020, former President Donald Trump and current head of state Joe Biden spent almost 30 million dollars on their advertising on the social network.

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