UPDATED 12:01 PM PT – Monday, January 4, 2021
With the Georgia runoffs just a day away, the GOP is facing a battle on two fronts: the Democrat challengers in the polls and the bias of social media giants online.
Over the weekend, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) posted a screenshot of emails they had received from Facebook explaining their account was “disabled” for an “unacceptable business policy violation.”
While the emails do not specifically address what content posted by the NRSC was a violation, the committee posted the following ad the day before on Twitter.
— The Senate Majority (@NRSC) December 31, 2020
After fierce backlash from conservatives, Facebook responded by claiming the ban was part of an automatic process and was done so in error. It also added that the account had been restored.
Facebook did not say which part of the video, or any other content posted by the NRSC, was cause for an automatic flag. Reviewing Facebook’s policy regarding “information on ads about social issues, elections or politics in the United States during the 2020 election” clears up nothing as their wording leaves room for interpretation and the potential for inconsistent application.
While conservative content faces undue scrutiny, the left seems to be able to post anything it pleases. This includes an August 27 ad from the DNC accusing the President of “creating orphans” and an August 20 ad claiming the President was working to prevent Americans from voting.
The video featuring California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Nenson aired before the election, and was dramatically misleading. The secretaries attempted to argue that mail-in voting and absentee voting are the same, and therefore mail-in voting is just as safe as absentee.
While all absentee ballots are cast by mail, however, not all mail-in ballots in 2020 met the various requirements set out by each state in previous elections, many of which were suspended due to Democrat pressure amid the pandemic.
Furthermore, Democrats were not arguing for an extension to absentee ballots, but instead a universal mail balloting system. This is fundamentally different in application as seen by the overwhelming wave of ballots the United States Postal Service had to sort long after Election Day and, therefore, no valid prediction could be made in regard to its security.
False equivalency issues aside, the advertisement is still available on the DNC Facebook page because the claims do not technically violate the site’s guidelines. The terms state content will only be removed if it negatively discusses mail-in voting.