Social Media Ad Policies

An Overview of Social Media Political Ad Policies

Here are summaries of the political ad policies for a number of major social media sites and Google products, as of Oct. 27, 2020, excerpted from their online policy statements. Please visit each company site for its complete advertising policies.

Facebook
Current Ad Restriction Period in the United States: Advertisers can’t publish new issue, electoral or political ads in the U.S. from Oct. 27 through Nov. 3 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Learn more.

We’re temporarily stopping all ads about social issues, elections and politics in the U.S. after the polls close Nov. 4 at 12 a.m. Pacific. We’ll notify advertisers when this policy is lifted. Learn more.

Given the evolving COVID-19 situation, we have fewer people and resources available to process new authorizations for ads about social issues, elections or politics. In certain cases, our review times to review identity (ID) documents has exceeded 48 hours. Our teams are actively working to review your documents in a timely manner. Continue to visit facebook.com/id to check status. If it’s been 30 days or more since you submitted your ID and you haven’t received a notification that it’s been rejected or approved, try submitting your ID again. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Instagram
If you’d like to link an Instagram account to run ads about social issues, elections or politics, you’ll see an option to authorize your account once your identity has been confirmed and if there’s an account linked to your page. This step is only required if your Facebook page name and your Instagram profile name don’t match.

We ask you to do this so we can make sure it’s clear that your Instagram and Facebook pages are related. Learn more about this requirement.

To authorize your Instagram account (if names differ):

  1. Go to your page. If your page is managed in Business Manager, you’ll need to access your page through Business Manager to complete the rest of the steps.
  2. Click Settings in the top-right corner.
  3. In the left menu, click Issue, Electoral or Political Ads.
  4. Below Authorize Your Instagram Account (Optional), click Begin.
  5. Check the Review this Instagram name box.
  6. If your Instagram name and page name aren’t the same, enter details explaining why in the text box.
  7. Click Submit.

We’ll typically review your request within 72 hours. If your Instagram name isn’t approved because it’s too different from your page name, you can edit your page name or your Instagram profile name so that they match. If you don’t want to change either name, you can remove Instagram from your ad placement selection and only run your ads on Facebook.

TikTok
At TikTok, we’re excited to be building a home for creative expression — a place where an eclectic range of short videos offer a truly joyful experience. We know users gravitate to TikTok because it provides a positive, refreshing environment that inspires their creativity and we look to foster that through things like fun filters, product features and brand partnerships.

This creativity is also where we’re seeing brands have the most success on the platform as they embrace the unique spirit and authenticity of the TikTok community. Through native advertising formats —like sponsored hashtag challenges that invite user participation and engagement in a brand’s campaign, or in-feed ads that use the immersive, short-form TikTok style — brands are using the app to take an unconventional and modern marketing approach.

The decision to allow paid ads into the community experience is one we treat carefully. We’re in the early days of introducing and experimenting with different ad formats and we’re exploring a variety of opportunities for brand partners — including the newly-launched TikTok Creator Marketplace, a beta program that enables brands to discover, connect and engage with talented creators on marketing campaigns. Brands are increasingly looking to creators for insights and partnerships in building quality content and we see demand for more collaborative opportunities between brands and creators.

Throughout all of this, however, our primary focus is on creating an entertaining, genuine experience for our community. While we explore ways to provide value to brands, we’re intent on always staying true to why users uniquely love the TikTok platform itself: for the app’s light-hearted and irreverent feeling that makes it such a fun place to spend time.

In that spirit, we have chosen not to allow political ads on TikTok. Any paid ads that come into the community need to fit the standards for our platform and the nature of paid political ads is not something we believe fits the TikTok platform experience. To that end, we will not allow paid ads that promote or oppose a candidate, current leader, political party or group or issue at the federal, state or local level — including election-related ads, advocacy ads or issue ads. For more, see our ad guidelines.

Twitter
This policy applies to Twitter’s paid advertising products.

What’s the policy? Twitter globally prohibits the promotion of political content. We have made this decision based on our belief that political message reach should be earned, not bought.

What’s subject to this policy? We define political content as content that references a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive or judicial outcome. Ads that contain references to political content, including appeals for votes, solicitations of financial support, and advocacy for or against any of the above-listed types of political content are prohibited under this policy. We also do not allow ads of any type by candidates, political parties or elected or appointed government officials.

Are there exemptions from this policy? News publishers who meet our exemption criteria may run ads that reference political content and/or prohibited advertisers under our political content policy, but may not include advocacy for or against those topics or advertisers.

How does this policy vary from country to country? For the U.S., the following advertisers are also not allowed: political action committees (PACs) or superPACs; 501(c)(4)s.

What other Twitter resources relate to this policy?

What do advertisers need to know about this policy? Review our guidelines and make sure you understand the requirements for your brand and business. You are responsible for all your promoted content on Twitter. This includes complying with applicable laws and regulations regarding advertisements. If you are an advertiser whose account or Tweets are under review and you would like to check on the status or request an expedited review, please log in to ads.twitter.com and file a support ticket using the Help button in the top-right corner of your ads dashboard.

Google/ YouTube
Our goal is to provide greater transparency in political advertising on Google, YouTube and partner properties. To run election ads, we require advertisers to be verified and observe our policies and applicable laws.

In the United States, election ads include ads that feature:

  • A current officeholder or candidate for an elected federal office. This includes federal offices such as that of the president or vice president of the United States, members of the U.S. House of Representatives or U.S. Senate;
  • A current officeholder or candidate for a state-level elected office, such as governor, secretary of state or member of a state legislature;
  • A federal- or state-level political party;
  • A state-level ballot measure, initiative or proposition that has qualified for the ballot in its state.

Note that election ads don’t include ads for products or services, including promotional political merchandise like T-shirts or ads run by news organizations to promote their coverage of federal election campaigns, candidates or current elected federal officeholders.

Election ads in the United States may run if the advertiser is verified by Google. Learn how to apply for verification.

Troubleshooter

  1. U.S. election ads may run only in the United States. Check that your U.S. election ads are running only in the United States and that you’ve been verified to run U.S. election ads. Learn more about the verification process.
  2. Contact us to have your ad reviewed again or edit the ad. This will resubmit the ad and its destination for review. Most ads are reviewed within one business day, though some can take longer if they need a more complex review.
  3. If you’re unable to complete the verification process, remove any content that violates the policy on election ads.

State election ads in the United States — In addition to the requirements above, there are further restrictions for state and local election ads in some U.S. states. See details by state below.

California restrictions — The following is required of California committees that are required by California Government Code § 84504.6 (2018) to provide express notification to online platforms before purchasing “online platform disclosed advertisements” related to either California candidates for elected office or California ballot measures:

  • California committees that wish to purchase “online platform disclosed advertisements” must: (1) expressly notify Google and submit additional information about themselves for our transparency report and in-ad disclosures, and (2) verify their account.

Please submit this form to complete the express notification process. If you’re using the Display Video 360 platform for advertising, please complete this form to meet the above requirements.

After completing this process, all of the ads in your account will be eligible for the disclosures required by the law. Because in-ad disclosures will appear via the “Why This Ad” icon, you may not opt-out of your ads displaying this icon. For more information about this process and recommendations for account management, visit this best practices guide.

Maryland restrictions — The following is not allowed:

  • Ads related to ballot measures and candidates for state and local elections.

New Jersey restrictions — The following is not allowed:

  • Ads related to ballot measures and candidates for state and local elections.

New York restrictions — The following is required of independent expenditure committees in the state of New York before purchasing political ads:

  • Independent expenditure committees that wish to purchase ads related to ballot measures and candidates for New York state and local elections must inform Google that they are independent expenditure committees and submit a copy of their registration documents that have been filed with the N.Y. State Board of Elections.

Please complete this form to meet the above requirements.

If you’re using the Display & Video 360 platform for advertising, please complete this form to meet the above requirements.

Nevada restrictions — The following is not allowed:

  • Ads related to ballot measures and candidates for state and local elections.

Virginia restrictions — The following is required of Virginia online political advertisers that are required by Virginia Code Ann. § 24.2-960 to identify themselves to an online platform as an online political advertiser and certify to the online platform that they are permitted under state and local laws to lawfully purchase or promote for a fee online political advertisements:

  • Virginia online political advertisers that wish to purchase “online political advertisements” must: (1) identify themselves to Google as an online political advertiser; (2) certify to Google that they are permitted under state and local laws to lawfully purchase or promote for a fee online political advertisements; and (3) verify their account.

Please submit this form to complete the self-identification and self-certification process.

Washington state restrictions — The following is not allowed:

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