12:08 GMT18 January 2021
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    The ban was first announced in late October, with Google initially planning to keep it for seven days following Election Day, but the restrictions were prolonged on 11 November, with Facebook taking similar steps.

    Google is lifting its ban on political advertising on Thursday, the company reportedly said, adding that it regularly halts ads prior to "sensitive" events, as they can be abused or provide "misleading information".

    "While we no longer consider this post-election period to be a sensitive event, we will continue to rigorously enforce our ads policies, which strictly prohibit demonstrably false information that could significantly undermine trust in elections or the democratic process", Google said in an email obtained by the Wall Street Journal.

    A similar temporary ban on election-related advertisements was applied by Facebook, though the company said in mid-November it will last for at least another month.

    So far, media project Democrat Joe Biden as the president-elect. His victory has been already certified in a number of crucial states, though the election results are being challenged by incumbent President Donald Trump. Trump has refused to concede, insisting this year's election was "rigged" by Democrats in favour of their own candidate. His team has filed numerous lawsuits in the key battleground states, where they believe election fraud and irregularities could have taken place.

    The Trump administration has criticised the tech giants' policies on political advertising and election-related information prior to and during the US presidential election. Particularly, popular social media platform Twitter began placing warning labels on President Trump's tweets long before the election. In mid-October, Twitter blocked the sharing of a New York Post article alleging potential corruption crimes on the part of Biden's son, Hunter Biden. Following the contested election results, the US president's posts on Twitter concerning the presidential race have been labelled as "disputed".

    At a Senate hearing with the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google, Republican lawmakers accused them of bias against their party members. Trump once said that social media was intentionally silencing the voices of conservatives.

    Google's ban will no longer be in force for the upcoming Senate runoffs in Georgia, scheduled for 5 January. The voting in Georgia will be crucial in deciding if Republicans will maintain control of the US Senate. President Trump has urged supporters in the state to ignore the calls for boycotting the runoffs and cast their votes, as many Republican-leaning citizens are disappointed with the current election results.

    Tags:
    President-elect, Joe Biden, Facebook, Donald Trump, US
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