The presidential campaign for former Vice President Joe Biden lashed out at Facebook after the influential social media platform admitted that technical issues led to political ads being accidentally blocked.
In a blog post on Thursday, Facebook said that there were issues with a planned restriction on political ads just ahead of the election.
Even though the majority of political and issue ads have been unaffected, since the restriction took effect, we have identified a number of unanticipated issues affecting campaigns of both political parties. Some were technical problems. Others were because advertisers did not understand the instructions we provided about when and how to make changes to ad targeting. We have implemented changes to fix these issues, and most political ads are now running without any 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.
Facebook claimed that there was no political targeting of either side, and that the issues affected all ads across the board.
The Biden campaign’s senior paid media adviser Megan Clasen complained on Friday that ads for the Trump campaign were still active while their counterargument ads were inactive on the same issue.
To put the FB issues into context, Trump is running ads that say that Biden’s tax plan will cause a 14% increase fo… https://t.co/LImwc30vBJ
— Megan Clasen (@Megan Clasen)1603992993.0
Clasen claimed that the Facebook algorithm rewarded greater engagement, and since Trump ads were more “controversial,” they received more engagement and cost the campaign less than ads cost the Biden campaign.
“Paying for advertising based on bidding in real time (and receiving variances in cost) isn’t a Facebook only situation, but the fact that FB’s algorithm favors controversial content can drive down the costs of Trump’s ads (based on engagement),” Clasen said.
Biden campaign digital director Rob Flaherty said in a statement that the issue was still not resolved.
“We have no scale of the problem, who it is affecting, and their plan to resolve it,” said Flaherty, according to Politico. “We find ourselves five days out from Election Day unable to trust that our ads will run properly, or if our opponents are being given unfair, partisan advantage.”
Facebook has been facing accusations of partisan political bias from the right as well after they restricted the spread of a New York Post story that could have been damaging to the Biden presidential bid.
Here’s a news video about Facebook censorship:
Facebook, Twitter under fire for suppressing Hunter Biden story